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What are your thoughts regarding start-up acquisitions? – David Teece

Presentations & Interviews Competition Policy International interviewed ICLE Academic Affiliate David Teece in September 2022. In the video embedded below, he discusses the concept of “potential competition” and . . .

Competition Policy International interviewed ICLE Academic Affiliate David Teece in September 2022. In the video embedded below, he discusses the concept of “potential competition” and the consumer-welfare effects of startup acquisitions.

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection

Rising to the China Challenge – Why the United States Must Capture Value, Not Just Create It

Presentations & Interviews ICLE Academic Affiliate David Teece was a guest, along with Patrick Kilbride of the Global Innovation Policy Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on . . .

ICLE Academic Affiliate David Teece was a guest, along with Patrick Kilbride of the Global Innovation Policy Center of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on IPWatchdog‘s Understanding IP Matters podcast that focused on whether U.S. policymakers have taken for granted the role intellectual property plays in shaping the nation’s ability to innovate and driving its economic advantage. The full episode is embedded below.

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Intellectual Property & Licensing

Towards a Solution for the Hold-Out Problem: Restoring Balance in the Licensing of Cellular SEPs

Scholarship Abstract For much of its existence, the academic and policy debate on standards essential patents (SEPs) in mobile telecommunications was driven by the theory of . . .

Abstract

For much of its existence, the academic and policy debate on standards essential patents (SEPs) in mobile telecommunications was driven by the theory of “hold up”— the ability of SEP owners to supposedly extract value well beyond the contribution of their technology to downstream products. This theory of hold up was never empirically validated, and even as a theory, took no account of the non-self-enforcing nature of patents, including SEPs. Injunctive relief for infringement is far from automatic, and litigation is costly and carries asymmetric risks for licensors. In reality, licensors are often able to collect payment only several years after infringement began, may sometimes end up agreeing to rates that are too low to incentivise future investment, and may often be unable to collect payment for all the period of infringement by the implementer. Thus “hold out” by licensees who wish to delay, avoid and reduce payment for their use of SEPs is a potentially greater danger than “hold up.”

If injunctions are difficult to obtain and the eventual remedy for infringement is to take a license and pay damages based on FRAND rates, there is little positive incentive for licensees to take licenses. Instead, it is attractive for licensees to delay and force licensors into litigation. The attractiveness and increasing pervasiveness of such behaviour risks disrupting the “balance” of incentives that is sought by standards development organisations such as the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), which has been responsible for shepherding the development of mobile telecommunications standards. The long-term consequences of disrupting this balance will likely be a diminished rate of future innovation, and the potential replacement of a remarkably successful model of “open innovation” by more closed models.

This paper suggests potential correctives to the holdout problem. The correctives involve the strengthening of injunctive relief regimes, and the recognition by Courts and policy-makers (especially antitrust or competition agencies) that achieving the “balance” sought out by ETSI may require limiting or withdrawing the unlimited availability of FRAND licenses for unwilling licensors. Courts and agencies should recognise that SEP holders are only obliged to be prepared to make FRAND licenses available, but also recognise that licensors are not compelled to conclude FRAND licenses with unwilling licensees. At the very least, Courts that are often asked to determine FRAND rates based on evaluating “comparable licenses” can still take measures that avoid putting unwilling licensees on the same footing as those who willingly negotiated “comparable” licenses.

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Intellectual Property & Licensing

Dynamic Competition in Antitrust Law

TOTM The Horizontal Merger Guidelines are the intellectual cornerstone of modern antitrust law, yet they contain little discussion of innovation or dynamic competition. Although the Merger . . .

The Horizontal Merger Guidelines are the intellectual cornerstone of modern antitrust law, yet they contain little discussion of innovation or dynamic competition. Although the Merger Guidelines do not constitute law merely by virtue of their promulgation by the agencies, the courts previously have accepted the revised principles that the agencies have advocated. By embracing the reasoning in the Merger Guidelines promulgated several decades ago by the Antitrust Division and the Federal Trade Commission, the federal courts have caused antitrust case law to ossify around a decidedly static view of antitrust. Put differently, in the years since 1980 the Division and the FTC have successfully persuaded the courts to adopt a more explicitly economic approach to merger analysis, yet one that has a static view of competition. The result is not a mere policy preference. It is law. To change that law to have a more dynamic view of competition will therefore require a sustained intellectual effort by the enforcement
agencies (as well as by scholars and practitioners) that, once more, engages the courts to reexamine antitrust law as they did in the late 1970s during the ascendancy of the Chicago School, when antitrust law became infused with its current, static understanding of competition. It appears that, before the Obama Administration took office, the Antitrust Division was attempting to incorporate more dynamic analysis, but the result was inconsistent across different mergers and different doctrinal areas of antitrust law.

Read the full piece here.

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Antitrust & Consumer Protection