CABA Information Series

(IS-2013-79) Emerging patent thickets and standards in the medical devices and telehealth

This report from Cambridge IP examines patent thickets and standards in telehealth. The study focused on two broad issues: a) the effects of patent thickets on innovation and market dynamics; and b) the role of technology standards and patent pools as a possible response to the emergence of patent thickets. The research was based on a case study of the emerging space of Telehealth, and particularly on the use of patents for wireless-enabled medical devices. The methodology used a combination of patent landscaping around 5 technology areas, interviews with industry experts, and scholarly literature review. We also made policy recommendations for the facilitation of innovation and technology diffusion, and consistent with the broad outlines of the existing patent system.


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