Fordham Law’s Center on Law and Information Policy has received a $35,000 grant from the World Intellectual Property Organization to conduct research on the acquisition and use of patents in the smartphone industry.

A team of attorneys and students will analyze data to provide insight on whether patents are fostering competition in the smartphone industry or hindering the ability of new companies to come into the market. The center will look at existing patents for hardware, operating systems and design aspects of smartphones, focusing on who patent holders are, how patent portfolios are being transferred and the use of licensing agreements, as well as canvassing patent litigation that is currently making its way through the courts.

“We need to understand how patents serve or disserve innovation and the deployment of smartphone technology for the consumer’s benefit,” said Joel Reidenberg, the center’s academic director.

The research is a follow-up to a previous study the center conducted about how intellectual property rights affect market accessibility.

The new report is expected to be finished in late fall 2012. The Fordham team includes Reidenberg as well as Jamela Debelak, the center’s executive director. They will be assisted by Daniel Gross, a post-graduate fellow from Fordham Law’s 2011 class, as well as second-year students Paul Doulatshahi and Elaine Mindrup.