You will shortly be asked to vote on the JURI report on the European Commission’s proposal to regulate standard-essential patents (SEPs). We urge you to reject the JURI report. The Commission should rethink its proposal.
IP Europe members are deeply concerned with the many flaws of the proposed SEP Regulation, which the JURI Committee’s report did not address. The report ignores the great majority of concerns expressed by JURI members and those of INTA and of IMCO members.
We share the Commission’s objectives of providing more transparency and predictability in these markets. However, we strongly believe this proposal will not achieve those objectives because:
- it increases costs and administrative burdens to EU innovators, including SMEs;
- it will cause delays, uncertainties and complexities in licensing negotiations;
- it is disproportionate and not backed by evidence showing the need for regulatory intervention;
- it would violate fundamental rights of SEP holders, including rights guaranteed under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, notably the right to property (including intellectual property) and access to justice, and EU law generally; and
- it is incompatible with the WTO TRIPS Agreement and is at odds with the EU’s WTO complaint concerning the way that Chinese courts approach SEP disputes.
The effects of the proposal will be detrimental to European technological leadership and global competitiveness:
- it will cause reduced incentives to invest in the development of new technologies and open standards;
- it will reduce Europe’s leadership position in open standardisation; and
- the primary beneficiaries will be non-European companies.
We are not the only ones with such concerns. Many impartial third parties, such as the Unified Patent Court (UPC), the European Patent Office (EPO), Europe’s Intellectual Property Judges Association (IPJA) and the European Union’s own Economic and Social Committee (EESC) have criticized the proposal and called for further scrutiny. In addition, standard development organizations such as AFNOR, CEN-CENELEC and ETSI have also registered their concerns, as well as the European Association of Research and Technology Organisations (EARTO).
A rush to judgment is rarely advisable and, in this case, there is no compelling reason for this proposal or an early vote. The push for an early vote is contrary to Europe’s interests. The long-term implications for Europe’s global competitiveness, critical technological ambitions, and the innovation ecosystem call for a proper assessment which has not yet occurred.
We urge you to reject the JURI report and give Parliament time to consider the views of key stakeholders, including the EPO, UPC and other European institutions.
For further information: Please see: The European Commission’s SEP Proposal Would be an Own Goal for Europe.