European Commission Calls for Balance in SEP Licensing Guidelines

December 15, 2017

The European Commission has issued a long-awaited set of guidelines for the licensing of standard essential patents (SEPs) in the European Union (EU). In a communication issued on November 29, the Commission recommended a series of principles for fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) patent licensing designed to foster a balance of interests between SEP-holders and implementers of standardized technology. The Commission’s suggested reforms focus on increasing transparency with respect to the process for declaring and verifying standard essentiality, fairly valuing SEPs in the context of the overall standard, and ensuring a fair enforcement process that allows for injunctive relief in order to foster the development and adoption of new technologies, including the Internet of Things.

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