Course Details

Technology Standards: Strategic & Antitrust Considerations

Technology standards permeate the modern economy, from WiFi and mobile phones to complex medical equipment to smart thermostats and electric cars. These standards would not exist but for the voluntary, cooperative efforts of numerous companies - often from what would at first appear to be far-flung industries. This survey course will explain the pivotal business strategies related to technology standards, including whether a firm may want to join a cooperative effort or whether instead it may prefer to try for a proprietary solution on its own. We will review the fundamentals of participating in cooperative standard setting organizations, the strategies that firms employ in such participation, and how participation can affect a firm's intellectual property acquisition and licensing decisions - most importantly related to patenting. Finally, we will discuss the basic elements of how firms compete in the multifaceted world of technology standards and will review the primary antitrust risks that come hand-in-hand with aggressive competition. The initial classes will be traditional lecture/discussion and will focus on foundational issues. We anticipate bringing in an industry practitioner for an in-depth interview on how their firm makes strategic decisions regarding standard participation. Another class will involve a standard setting exercise; for this, students will assess the opportunities relating to an emerging standard for their assigned "company," deciding on their optimal strategy and attempting to win other "companies" over to their side. Grade assessments will be based on in-class preparedness and participation (10%), a writing assignment and a presentation, matching skills required in real world jobs. The in-class presentation will comprise 45% of the grade and includes both a group and an individual contribution score. The out-of-class writing assignment is a memo providing an antitrust risk assessment for the student's ""company"" and is broken down into a a first draft and a final draft.

Catalog Number: REGLAW 915-0
Additional Course Information: MSL students only


Course History

Spring 2019
Title: Technology Standards: Strategic & Antitrust Considerations
Faculty: Layne-Farrar, Anne S
Section: 1     Credits: 1.5
Capacity: 20     Actual: 1

Spring 2018
Title: Technology Standards: Strategic & Antitrust Considerations
Faculty: Baron, Justus Alexander
Layne-Farrar, Anne S
Section: 1     Credits: 1.5
Capacity: 25     Actual: 2

Spring 2017
Title: Technology Standards: Strategic & Antitrust Considerations
Faculty: Layne-Farrar, Anne S
Section: 1     Credits: 1.5
Capacity: 20     Actual: 16

Spring 2016
Title: Standard Setting
Faculty: Baron, Justus Alexander
Layne-Farrar, Anne S
Section: 1     Credits: 1.0
Capacity: 24     Actual: 6