Please join the Centre for Transformative Innovation, the EU Centre for Shared Complex Challenges, the Melbourne Business School and the Intellectual Property Research Institute of Australia for a public lecture on the phenomenon of patent thickets with Associate Professor Stefan Wagner.
About the Lecture
Google acquired Motorola Mobility in a headline making deal for $12.5 billion in May 2012. Less than two years later, Google has sold Motorola Mobility to Lenovo for $2.9 billion but decided to hold on to up to 20,000 of Motorola’s mobile patents. The logic of this deal can be explained best by the existence of patent thickets - situations in which any patent holder can try to prevent competitors from manufacturing a product (in Google’s case, a smartphone or the operating system) as a whole by not granting a license on a component or by demanding unreasonably high licensing fees. Only the acquisition of a big patent portfolio allowed Google to become a credible player in the IP landscape of mobile telephony and to obtain relevant cross-licenses.
This talks focuses on the broader phenomenon of patent thickets – which are prevalent not only in mobile telephony but in many other industries as well - and discusses implications for managers and policy makers alike: In particular, the tendency of patent thickets to self-perpetuate and to grow is a worrying trend for all stakeholders. Additionally, patent thickets lead to an increase in firms’ efforts to patent, while at the same time reducing the incentive to engage in litigation.
About the Speaker
Stefan Wagner joined ESMT Berlin in February 2011 as an assistant professor and received tenure as of 2016 as an associate professor. Previously, he received his Habilitation in 2010 and his Doctorate in Management (summa cum laude) in 2005 from Ludwig-Maximilians-University Munich.
During the course of his education Stefan was supported by the Studienstiftung des Deutschen Volkes (German National Academic Foundation). He was Fulbright Scholar at the University of California Los Angeles UCLA and Visiting Scholar at the National Bureau of Economic Research NBER, Cambridge MA, as well as at the Intellectual Property Insitute of Australia IPRIA, Melbourne. Since 2016, Stefan has been a Senior Fellow at the Berlin Centre for Consumer Policies (BCCP).
Stefan's research interests cover the intersection of firm strategy, technological innovation, industrial organization and law. Currently, he is primarily interested in the interaction of the changing landscape of intellectual property rights (in particular patent systems) and firms' long term strategy regarding their innovative activities. The results of his research have been published in general management journals such as Management Science and the Strategic Management Journal, and also in top field journals – in innovation, for example in Research Policy; and in economics, for example in the Journal of Industrial Economics and Economics Letters.
Arrivals from 5:45 PM for a 6:00 PM start. The lecture will approximately finish at 7:15 PM followed by networking drinks until 8:00 PM.
*The EU Centre on Shared Complex Challenges is co-funded by the European Commission and The University of Melbourne.