We study a dynamic general equilibrium model where innovation takes theform of the introduction of new goods whose production requires skilled workers.Innovation is followed by a costly process of standardization, whereby these newgoods are adapted to be produced using unskilled labor. Our framework highlightsa number of novel results. First, standardization is both an engine of growth anda potential barrier to it. As a result, growth is an inverse U-shaped function ofthe standardization rate (and of competition). Second, we characterize the growthand welfare maximizing speed of standardization. We show how optimal protec-tion of intellectual property rights a¤ecting the cost of standardization vary withthe skill-endowment, the elasticity of substitution between goods and other para-meters. Third, we show that, depending on how competition between innovatingand standardizing ?rms is modelled and on parameter values, a new type of multi-plicity of equilibria may arise. Finally, we study the implications of our model forthe skill-premium and we illustrate novel reasons for linking North-South trade tointellectual property rights protection.