Patent pledges — public commitments to limit the enforcement or other exploitation of one’s patent rights — are increasing in popularity in a range of market sectors, from telecommunications and software to biopharma and green technology. Following initial work that sought to classify and understand patent pledges as a distinct category of firm behaviour, the author and collaborators have identified a range of recent developments in the evolution of patent pledges. These include increasing structural complexity and sophistication of patent pledges, a richer set of motivations leading firms to pledge patents, increased attention to the role that patent pledges play in innovation and on the governance of collective pledges, and a trend toward democratization and internationalization of pledge behaviour.

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