Standard-essential patents (SEPs)—patents which are integrated in global open standards –are instrumental to Europe’s technology leadership in several industries including mobile telephony (think: 4G, 5G, 6G, etc.) and the Internet of Things (IoT). They drive investment in R&D and the development of open standards in Europe—both of which European policymakers have long considered political imperatives.
IP Europe supports the European Commission’s stated objectives of greater transparency, balance and efficiency in the SEPs licensing ecosystem.
Unfortunately, the Commission’s proposed SEP regulation is flawed in several fundamental respects, and in our view, as technology developers, experienced licensors and licensees, it will not achieve the Commission’s objectives. Worse, it will have the unintended consequences of harming technology innovators and SMEs and damaging the EU’s leadership in the development of vital global technologies. Given this, we believe that the Commission should withdraw the SEPs proposal and conduct a thorough assessment of its detailed proposals before tabling any new proposal.
Here are just a few of the most problematic issues with the Commission’s SEPs proposal:
Given the potential impact of the proposal, which was not fully assessed by the European Commission, we, the technology contributors to open standards, with decades of experience in standardisation, licensing in and licensing out SEPs, and with the common interest of a successful European standardisation ecosystem, strongly urge the Council to: (1) demand a thorough impact assessment of the Commission’s detailed SEPs proposals; (2) convene subject-matter experts to comment on the proposals; and (3) if necessary, ask the Commission to withdraw the entire SEPs proposal pending further review and amendments.
[Please click here for a downloadable, printable version of this position paper]