Dear Honourable Member of the European Parliament,
We are writing to you because the European Parliament – led by JURI, IMCO, and INTA – is considering the European Commission’s recent proposal to regulate patents (SEPs) that are currently recognised and enforced by Member States. The proposed regulation risks becoming an economic and legal own goal for Europe.
Standards and Patents are the foundation of all mobile connectivity. Your mobile phone works thanks to standards and patents. In fact, all sectors of the economy use 4G LTE / 5G, audio, video and other ICT-based standards. They are the foundation for the connectivity that facilitates digitalisation, runs businesses, makes them smart and efficient and helps them stay competitive.
The European Union and other developed economies have long lived by the rule of law. They have encouraged inventors to engage in the development of new technologies—along with art, music and literature. They guarantee patent and copyright protection that acknowledge creators’ work and allow them to reap the rewards of their labour when others make use of their work.
When an inventor agrees to contribute game-changing innovation to develop new technical standards for the common good, the patents are called standard-essential patents, or SEPs. Many game-changing telecommunications and multimedia standards including 4G, 5G and MPEG use SEPs “made in Europe”. The members of IP Europe developed many of them, and license them on Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory terms. That innovation directly benefits companies based in Europe by opening the door to global markets. It also benefits every European citizen.
IP Europe represents research- and development-intensive organisations that champion this open innovation ecosystem. In this system, patents and open standards drive private investment in R&D-intensive technology and deliver progress for EU citizens and businesses. We are very concerned that the EC’s proposal would chill investment and drive innovation in critical technology areas out of Europe.
In fact, our members are very concerned about the damage that the Commission proposal to regulate SEPs would do to European innovation that’s used around the world and to European competitiveness and trade relations as well as to European technological sovereignty. We believe that the Commission proposal is flawed in so many fundamental ways that it requires a full overhaul.
At the highest level, the Commission:
The future of European leadership in key technology areas is at stake.
We know that standards and patents are technical topics and would be happy to explain their benefits, what they bring to Europe and European citizens, and why we are so concerned about the Commission’s proposal to regulate SEPs. We urge you to take your time to fully understand the important issues at stake.
IP Europe would be grateful for an opportunity to meet you. We stand ready to share our experience and expertise and answer your questions at your earliest convenience.
Managing Director, IP Europe
You can view and download a PDF of the open letter by clicking on the thumbnail below.