A decade ago, the VITA Standards Organization made history by voting to adopt a patent policy that mandates “ex ante” royalty rate disclosures. Specifically, the VITA IPR policy requires its members to not only disclose all patents that are likely to be essential to implement the standard (a common practice among standards development organizations, or SDOs, around the world), but also to declare “the maximum royalty rate” they will seek for their disclosed patents, and to do so during the members’ debate over which technologies to include in the standard (i.e., ex ante to standard publication).
Anne Layne-Farrar recently had an in-depth discussion with Ray Alderman, the then-Executive Director at VITA who conceived of and pushed the new policy through implementation. In this article, she gets his ten-year retrospective on the disclosure policy, including the challenges he faced at the time, the factors that have made the policy a success for VITA over the past decade, and the reasons why such a policy is unlikely to ever emerge at another SDO. To read the article, click the link below.
Assessing umbrella pricing incentives
When collusive agreements involve a subset of firms in an industry, they may create the incentive and ability for firms that are not participants in the cartel...