[Brussels: Thursday, 5 July 2018] Francisco Mingorance, Executive Secretary of IP Europe, commented on the launch of DG Grow’s terms of reference for its new ‘expert group on licensing and valuation of standard essential patents’, saying:
“IP Europe welcomes the announcement by the European Commission’s DG Grow of the terms of reference for a new expert group, delivering on one of the measures contained in its recent Communication on “Setting out the EU approach to Standard Essential Patents”. The expert group will deepen expertise on industry licensing practices, sound IP valuation and the determination of FRAND.
“As the home of inventors and leading innovators of wireless open standard technologies, it makes sense for Europe to lead efforts to ensure the established system of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing of standard essential patents (SEPs) remains fit for purpose. This is especially important as the licensing environment evolves and expands in the era of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT).
“We urge the European Commission to ensure broad representation on the expert group from leading European innovators of wireless open standard technologies, including 4G and 5G. We believe participants must have first-hand, practical experience in licensing, FRAND valuation, and European standards setting organisations. Discussions must reflect the dynamic nature of standardisation and the need for continued contribution of new technologies to standards.
“IP Europe, and the many large and small companies and research organisations it represents, look forward to supporting the work of the expert group. We want to ensure continued European leadership in innovation and the growth of Europe’s digital economy.
“Since October 2017, our members have been working with other companies and research organisations to develop a ‘Best Practice Industry Code of Conduct on SEP Licensing’, using the CEN-CENELEC Workshop Agreement process. This exercise will complement and support the work of the expert group and we look forward to sharing it with them later this year.
“Perhaps most importantly, in line with the values of open standardisation, we encourage the European Commission to direct the expert group to make decisions based on the principle of consensus.Adopting simple majority decisions on critical topics such as SEP valuation risks policy recommendations which may hinder, rather than foster, the development of ecosystems for 5G and IoT to unlock the full potential of the Digital Single Market.”
About IP Europe
IP Europe brings together R&D intensive European companies and research institutes committed to innovation, from SMEs to global enterprises and non-profit research entities operating in a variety of industrial sectors. They all share a common goal: to maintain, at all policy levels, strong patent protection for innovators and support recognized fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory standardisation policies adopted by consensus that preserve fair compensation for innovators. IP Europe supports the use of Injunctive Relief against patent infringers and free riders that rely on R&D investments made by others to earn higher profits.
IP Europe was originally launched by Ericsson, Airbus and France Brevets. The Fraunhofer Gesellschaft participates in IP Europe in its capacity of academic advisor.