14 October marked World Standards Day, to celebrate the role of standards in developing harmonisation and competition in the European single market. The Commission marked the occasion by holding a meeting with industry members and stakeholders, it also published this Memo.
The Memo highlights that establishing EU-wide standards can help to improve compatibility, interoperability, safety and quality of products and services for consumers. The Commission also suggests that the development of standards helps to increase access to markets by lowering output and sales costs and in doing so, improves competition. Nonetheless the raft of litigation around SEPs (which we have blogged about in a number of previous posts found here) shows that all is not plain sailing in the world of standards. It is in the light of these challenges posed by standardisation, that the Commission is developing a new set of guidelines to ensure “the sound application of the regulatory framework”, and it was this that was at the top of the agenda at their recent Standards’ day meeting.
The Commission is also inviting stakeholders to take part in the discussion on the interplay between patents and standardisation – if you wish to take part in the public consultation, simply follow this link. The consultation allows stakeholders to raise their views and concerns on how the current regulatory framework governing standardisation involving patents performs, and also provides a platform for suggestions as to how standardisation can move forward in a changing economic and technological environment.
The consultation will close on 31 January 2015. DG Comp’s study on Patents and Standards (linked to from the consultation) may also be of interest.
Kate Shires and Chloe Dickson