Patent Pools: Intellectual Property Rights and Competition

Victor Rodriguez*
TNO Innovation Policy Group, Wassenaarseweg 56, 2333 AL Leiden, The Netherlands

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© Victor Rodriguez; Licensee Bentham Open.

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial License ( which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the TNO Innovation Policy Group, Wassenaarseweg 56, 2333 AL Leiden, The Netherlands; E-mail:


Patent pools do not correct all problems associated with patent thickets. In this respect, patent pools might not stop the outsider problem from striking pools. Moreover, patent pools can be expensive to negotiate, can exclude patent holders with smaller numbers of patents or enable a group of major players to form a cartel that excludes new competitors. For all the above reasons, patent pools are subject to regulatory clearance because they could result in a monopoly. The aim of this article is to present the relationship between patents and competition in a broad context.

Keywords:: Competition policy, European antitrust, patents..