Tag: Standards

How Essential are Standard-Essential Patents?

Mark Lemley and Timothy Simcoe

This paper explores what happens when standard-essential patents (SEPs) go to court. The authors found that, contrary to their expectations, SEPs are more likely to be held valid than non-SEP patents, but they are significantly less likely to be infringed. In other words, SEPs, once in court, do not seem to be all that essential. One cause, the authors found, comes from the assertion of SEP patent rights by so-called patent trolls, which has implications in policy debates over both SEPs and patent trolls.

Upstream, Downstream: Diffusion and Impact of the Universal Product Code

Emek Basker and Timothy Simcoe

This paper presents an in-depth quantitative analysis of the diffusion and impacts of the Universal Product Code (UPC). The authors find evidence of two-sided network effects in the diffusion process, and that employment and trademark registrations increase following UPC adoption by manufacturers or wholesalers. The findings suggest that barcodes, scanning, and related technologies helped stimulate variety-enhancing product innovation and encourage the growth of international retail supply chains.