User Generated Law
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User Generated Law

Re-Constructing Intellectual Property Law in a Knowledge Society

Edited by Thomas Riis

Engaging and innovative, User Generated Law offers a new perspective on the study of intellectual property law. Shifting research away from the study of statutory law, contributions from leading scholars explore why and how self-regulation of intellectual property rights in a knowledge society emerges and develops. Analysing examples of self-regulation in the intellectual property law based industries, this book evaluates to what extent user generated law is an accurate model for explaining and understanding this process.
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Chapter 6: IP coordination models: revealing some of the “magic” behind patent pools and clearinghouses?

Esther van Zimmeren


In our global, heavily networked knowledge-based society the exchange, sharing and utilization of knowledge is increasingly important for promoting innovation. Within this context, patents may act as a barrier but also as a tool to enable the exchange and utilization of the underlying knowledge. Proponents of open innovationconsider patents as more than mere means for excluding others from using an organization’s ideas and technologies; patents are rather expected to play a key role as a means for transferring ideas and technologies from one entity to another. The growing need to facilitate the exploitation of patents has led to the rise of a “patent marketplace” where a variety of new entities focusing on patent-related transactions are emerging. Some specialized IP firms seek to monetize patents (e.g. Intellectual Ventures), or create strategic patent portfolios for licensing purposes (e.g. MPEG LA). Other companies offer an online marketplace where patents and ideas can be traded (e.g. NineSigma), or establish a co-operative venture that buys and licenses patents to its members for defensive purposes (e.g. RPX). Patent pools and clearinghouses operate in this evolving patent marketplace and are nowadays widely recognized as useful intellectual property (IP) coordination and exchange mechanisms for situations where a particular technology is burdened with a large number of fragmented IP rights. They are designed to offer a one-stop-shop to patented technologies for licensees while generating reasonable royalties for patent owners.

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