How to Keep the Fox Out of the Henhouse: Monopolization in the Context of Standards-Setting Organizations
September 2007Intellectual Property & Technology Law Journal, Vol. 19, No. 9
As technology becomes an evermore omnipresent part of our daily lives, industry-wide standards regarding technology play an increasingly prominent and critical role in the modern economy. The benefits that derive from developing standards are considerable, and when conducted with the proper safeguards, the vast majority of such activities create little antitrust risk despite the fact that the antitrust laws are generally skeptical of collaboration between or among competitors. It is widely recognized that, done properly, the development of standards can promote competition and economic efficiency by facilitating product interoperability, creating open networks, ensuring public safety, and disseminating product information. Although the need for standards is not new, the information economy has increased their use, especially that of compatibility (or interface) standards.