Josh Lerner et Jean Tirole, « Standard-Essential Patents », Journal of Political Economy, vol. 123, n° 3, juin 2015, p. 547–586.


A major policy issue in standard setting is that patents that are ex-ante not that important may, by being included into a standard, become standard-essential patents (SEPs). In an attempt to curb the monopoly power that they create, most standard-setting organizations require the owners of patents covered by the standard to make a loose commitment to grant licenses on reasonable terms. Such commitments unsurprisingly are conducive to intense litigation activity. This paper builds a framework for the analysis of SEPs, identifies several types of inefficiencies attached to the lack of price commitment, shows how structured price commitments restore competition, and analyzes whether price commitments are likely to emerge in the marketplace.


Standards; licensing commitments; standard-essential patents; royalty stacking; FRAND; hold ups and reverse hold ups;

Codes JEL

  • D43: Oligopoly and Other Forms of Market Imperfection
  • L24: Contracting Out • Joint Ventures • Technology Licensing
  • L41: Monopolization • Horizontal Anticompetitive Practices
  • O34: Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

Partenaire de recherche



Josh Lerner et Jean Tirole, « Standard-Essential Patents », IDEI Working Paper, n° 803, 5 novembre 2013, révision 13 mars 2014.

Josh Lerner et Jean Tirole, « Standard-Essential Patents », TSE Working Paper, n° 13-441, 5 novembre 2013, révision 13 mars 2014.