IPR Policies and Membership in Standard Setting Organizations: A Social Network Analysis
Whereas technical standards and Standard Setting Organizations (SSOs) are omnipresent and essential to mass production and communications, relatively little is formally known about the propensity of firms’ decisions to belong to certain SSOs. An understanding of such propensities can explain why some firms join SSOs (and others do not) and have implications for the regulation of SSOs. This paper uses a social network analysis technique to categorize/place firms in SSO communities and then empirically analyzes their propensities to belong to SSOs. We concentrate our study on standard setting organizations’ features and their intellectual property rights (IPR) policies such as licensing rules, disclosure requirements, as well as the features of the decision process of standards. Using data on more than 1060 member firms as participants in 28 SSOs, we are able to uniquely graph the membership of firms in SSOs by highlighting some important characteristics through community detection. The results provide some novel insights into why firms might choose certain SSO communities over others.