This paper investigates how formal standards shape the M2M/IoT technological trajectory. We, firstly, visualized the patent citation networks of M2M/IoT, drawing upon the social network analysis and Hummon and Dereian's (1989) connectivity measure, and identified the technological trajectory of M2M/IoT. Through the examination, we found that 3GPP standards regarding the overall M2M/IoT system architecture (TR 22.868, TR 33.812, TS 22.368, TR 22.888, in particular) host a crucial role in setting the boundary conditions of the M2M/IoT variation and selection process. Second, we found the importance of formal standards on path-creation by catch-up firms (e.g. LG and Huawei), since they provide access to external knowledge and opportunities to build up their knowledge base. These findings are expected to make contributions to innovation and standards studies by empirically clarifying the relationship between a technological trajectory and standards. Furthermore, they may cast light on the ongoing M2M/IoT standards rivalry and offer practical implications for catch-up strategies.