The strategic use of patents in standardization in relation to US, European and Chinese competition law

Mathieu Joseph Caspar Heckman

Research output: ThesisDoctoral ThesisExternal prepared

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Technologies embedded in standards are most often protected by patents. This research shows that competition law concerns will be raised as soon as the standardization process is manipulated to
enable patent holders to gain unfair competitive advantages. Strategic patenting has become common practice in the telecommunications industry. Substantial patent portfolios are used as “weapons of mass destruction” to fend off infringement cases by competitors.
This study argues that patent pools are a possible solution to the aforementioned problems in the
US, EU and China. Chinese firms may benefit from Western technology in standards that are cooperatively developed. Western companies would appreciate the increased legal certainty and the possibility of outsourcing more sophisticated forms of manufacturing to Chinese firms. Patent pools are a good alternative for the Chinese government and businesses to participate more in standards. A patent pool can facilitate a smoother and more efficient technology transfer for foreign companies in China, which would benefit all the relevant stakeholders, including the Chinese government.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Maastricht University
  • Kamperman Sanders, Anselm, Supervisor
  • Pugatch, Meir, Supervisor
Award date22 Apr 2016
Place of PublicationMaastricht
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • patents
  • standardization
  • competition policy

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