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What is a Patent Ambush?

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Patent ambush is when an organization uses information gained in a shared initiative to further its patent portfolio. The term is often applied to participants in standards setting initiatives. Participants may use information about an upcoming standard to apply for patents that are necessary to the standard. Alternatively, they may suggest approaches that would cause the standard to rely on their existing or in-process patents.

Legal Considerations

It is common for standards organizations to develop agreements to prevent patent ambush. In some circumstances, patent ambush can be considered a breach of competition law.
Overview: Patent Ambush
Intellectual Property
Business Ethics
Secretly using information gained in a shared initiative to develop patents.
Related Concepts

Business Ethics

This is the complete list of articles we have written about business ethics.
Agency Cost
Conflict Of Interest
Crony Capitalism
Do No Harm
Dual Agency
Environmental Issues
Ethical Climate
Ethical Issues
Fee Splitting
Fiduciary Duty
Professional Ethics
Reputational Risk
Right To Know
Self Dealing
Technology Ethics
More ...
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Business Ethics

A list of issues and principles related to business ethics.

Trade Secrets vs Right To Know

Two legal concepts that commonly collide.

Conflict Of Interest

A few examples of conflict of interest.

Fiduciary Duty

An overview of fiduciary duty.

Precautionary Principle

An overview of the precautionary principle.

Professional Conduct

The primary elements of professional conduct.


The definition of accountability with examples.


Examples of common business and personal values.


The definition of agency with examples.

Gaming The System

The definition of gaming the system with examples.


A few basic examples of compliance.

Independent Knowledge

A definition of independent knowledge with an example.

Segregation Of Duties

A definition of segregation of duties with examples.

Internal Controls

A definition of internal controls with examples.

Conformance vs Compliance

The difference between conformance and compliance.

Administrative Burden

A definition of administrative burden with examples.

Fair Competition

The definition of fair competition with examples.

Insider Information

The definition of insider information with examples.
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