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EU – Public Consultation on new framework for standard-essential patents

22 Feb 2022

The Commission opened a public consultation an a new framework for standard-essential patents

As the Commission states in the summary:

“A patent that protects technology essential to a standard is called a standard-essential patent (SEP). Patent-holders commit to licence their SEPs to users of the standard on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and conditions. However, the system for licensing SEPs is not transparent, predictable and efficient.

“This initiative will create a fair and balanced licensing framework and may combine legislative and non-legislative action.


“Policy options
The initiative will build upon the three policy pillars listed below. The policy options the Commission presents will be based on a different level of ambition for each of those pillars, and should also be supported by the appropriate legislative and non-legislative instruments.

1. Enhancing transparency on SEPs, for example by: (i) requiring the disclosure and update of certain information to improve publicly available information; and (ii) introducing a system for independent third-party assessments of essentiality under the management and control of an independent body.

2. Providing clarity on various aspects of FRAND by developing guiding principles and/or processes for (i) clarifying the concept of FRAND; (ii) negotiating FRAND terms and conditions; and (iii) determining appropriate level(s) of licensing in a value chain.

3. Improving the effectiveness and efficiency of enforcement, for example by incentivising mediation, conciliation and/or arbitration.

The consultation period ends on 9 May 2022 (midnight Brussels time)

More information can be found here.