Patent Pledges
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Patent Pledges

Global Perspectives on Patent Law’s Private Ordering Frontier

Edited by Jorge L. Contreras and Meredith Jacob

Patent holders are increasingly making voluntary, public commitments to limit the enforcement and other exploitation of their patents. The best-known form of patent pledge is the so-called FRAND commitment, in which a patent holder commits to license patents to manufacturers of standardized products on terms that are “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory.” Patent pledges have also been appearing in fields well beyond technical standard-setting, including open source software, green technology and the biosciences. This book explores the motivations, legal characteristics and policy goals of these increasingly popular private ordering tools.
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Chapter 18: A registry for patent pledges

Jorge L. Contreras

Abstract

Despite the underlying market forces that should promote the dissemination of patent pledges, widespread notice of existing pledges is lacking. Pitfalls such as obscurity, impermanence, and patent transfers have convoluted the existence and current status of patent pledges. A public registry of patent pledges, accompanied by suitable governmental incentives for registration, could address these problems and provide the highest degree of market awareness of pledges.

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