Chapter 8: Conclusion
In network markets, the need for compatibility leads the market to use standards. Where standards are protected by patents, the need for open access to standards clashes with the exclusivity of patent rights. More seriously, where the owner of patents covering standards refuses to grant licences to others hoping to enter the relevant market by making products compatible with standards, the market competition is seriously distorted. In addition, where the patent owner refuses to let his patent be incorporated into standards, the standardisation process can be halted or seriously delayed. This book seeks to resolve these problems by finding ways to strike the right balance between the rights of patent owners and the need for industry standards. Especially, this book seeks to solve the problem arising from the refusal to license by patent owners who have the essential patents for standards. One of the main findings of this book is that current legal systems do not resolve the issues in a satisfactory way. The antitrust law of the US, the competition law of the EU and the legal doctrines of patent law are examined in relation to standards in Chapters 3 to 5. In Chapter 3, the patent issues in standards are examined from the perspective of the US antitrust law. The US antitrust law does not condemn the patent owner who refuses to license patents, even though the patentee is in a monopoly position. There are legal principles which may restrict the exercise of patents covering informal standards, but...
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