Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2204359
 
 

Footnotes (72)



 


 



Ten Years of DG Competition Effort to Provide Guidance on the Application of Competition Rules to the Licensing of Standard-Essential Patents:
Where Do We Stand?


Damien Geradin


George Mason University School of Law; Tilburg University - Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC); Covington & Burling LLP

January 21, 2013


Abstract:     
One of the most intractable competition issues for the European Commission (the “Commission”) over the last ten years has been to define the circumstances in which the licensing conduct or litigation strategy of a standard-essential patent (often referred to as “SEP”) holders amount to an abuse of a dominant position in breach of Article 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU). This issue has been particularly difficult to handle, not only because of the complex nature of the legal and economic questions it raises, but also because of the significant business issues at stake. Hundreds of millions of dollars may be at stake in licensing negotiations.

The enforcement of SEPs has made headlines in the context of the “smartphone war”, where the main device manufacturers (Google Motorola, Samsung, HTC, Nokia, etc.) have been litigating heavily in court. For instance, the patent dispute between Apple and Samsung has generated over 50 lawsuits in a variety of jurisdictions. Some of these manufacturers have also filed competition complaints on both sides of the Atlantic, as well as in other jurisdictions. These complaints have, in turn, triggered investigations into the licensing conduct and litigation strategy of several SEP holders, which will be discussed below.

Against this background, the purpose of this paper is to address the competition law issues that may be raised by the licensing conduct and/or enforcement strategy of SEP holders. Section II reviews the Commission’s efforts in recent years to address the competition law concerns raised by SEPs. It will be shown that the Commission has used a variety of approaches to attempt to set some principles regarding the licensing of SEPs. The Commission still needs to create a precedent, which is probably its intention by sending a Statement of Objections to Samsung in December 2012. Section III contains a brief conclusion.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 20

Keywords: Standardization, standard essential patents, SEPs, antitrust, competition law, intellectual property, hold up, licensing, royalties, EU law, patent war, smartphone

JEL Classification: K21, K41, L41, L96

working papers series





Download This Paper

Date posted: January 23, 2013  

Suggested Citation

Geradin, Damien, Ten Years of DG Competition Effort to Provide Guidance on the Application of Competition Rules to the Licensing of Standard-Essential Patents: Where Do We Stand? (January 21, 2013). Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2204359 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2204359

Contact Information

Damien Geradin (Contact Author)
George Mason University School of Law
3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

George Mason Law School Logo

Tilburg University - Tilburg Law and Economics Center (TILEC) ( email )
Warandelaan 2
Tilburg, 5000 LE
Netherlands
HOME PAGE: http://www.tilburguniversity.nl/tilec/
Covington & Burling LLP ( email )
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004-2401
United States
Feedback to SSRN


Paper statistics
Abstract Views: 2,613
Downloads: 413
Download Rank: 40,503
Footnotes:  72
Paper comments
No comments have been made on this paper

© 2014 Social Science Electronic Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved.  FAQ   Terms of Use   Privacy Policy   Copyright   Contact Us
This page was processed by apollo3 in 0.391 seconds