Standards, standards everywhere

29.02.2016

Two conferences take place this week on the ever-hot topic of standards, SEPs and FRAND licensing – today in Brussels, courtesy of the Liege Competition and Innovation Institute, and on Wednesday in London, hosted by the BIICL.

We are attending both conferences, and will endeavour to note points of interest here on the CLIP Board.

By way of warm-up, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) last week denied a final challenge to the IEEE’s latest version of its IPR Policy. That policy was introduced last year, amid significant controversy. The imposition of limitations on licensors’ rights to obtain injunctive relief as well as the indication that royalties should be paid on the basis of the smallest saleable functionality which uses the patented technology were both the subject of fierce dissent, as we reported here.

Following the failure of the challenge to the DOJ’s decision to approve the IEEE’s new policy, a further challenge was brought, this time to the accreditation of the IEEE. This further action was led by Alcatel-Lucent, Qualcomm and Ericsson, and was supported by a number of other IP rich companies. By contrast, net licensees, such as Cisco, supported the IEEE’s new policy.

While there appears to be little scope now for further challenge to the IEEE’s policy, the tug-of-war between licensor and licensee positions remains an important dynamic in SEP licensing. We expect the fireworks to continue during both conferences this week.

Sophie Lawrance

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