Tech Talk: Making Sense of Standards, Patents, and Competition

Written by Brian Wesolowski

2016-04-20 CDT Tech Talk LONG logo

CDT’s Tech Talk is a podcast where we dish on tech and Internet policy, while also explaining what these policies mean to our daily lives. You can find Tech Talk on SoundCloud iTunes, and Google Play, as well as Stitcher and TuneIn.

Talking about technical standards might make some people’s eyes gloss over, but in telecommunications, if there aren’t consistent standards, our cell phones likely won’t work in all places or on all networks. Of course, there is actual real technology layered on those standards – chips, microprocessors, circuit boards, and lots of other stuff I could never make work. A lot of these necessary components are patented. Can you sense the growing tense already?

Charles Duan, the Director of Technology and Innovation Policy at the R Street Institute, was my first guest on this episode and he helps us all understand how standards and patents can impact competition and consumers. 

After that, our very own Stan Adams talk about a new Tech 101 series from CDT, Techsplanations. The series offers accessible explainers on how core technologies and internet systems actually work. Be sure to check them out!

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