Licensing Standards Essential Patents (Seps) — Round Two
les Nouvelles - Journal of the Licensing Executives Society, Volume LIV No. 4, December 2019
7 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2019
Date Written: October 15, 2019
My first job in standards was also my first job in intellectual property. I worked for a district manager whose job was full-time standards. When I introduced the idea of FRAND to him, his reaction was, “What other way could there possibly be to license patents except in a fair and reasonable manner?” My response, of course was, “Why we could license patents in an unfair and unreasonable manner.” While there is some jest in this, there is a fundamental underlying assumption. Patents that are essential to a standard must be licensed in a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory manner. If we truly understand the English and legal meaning of these words, there is no wiggle room for so-called super FRAND rates nor for charging a premium for a standards essential patent (SEP).
Keywords: licensing standards essential patents, SEPs, FRAND, standards
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