Commissioner Vestager claims royalties of $120 per smartphones due to threat of injunctions

Commissioner Vestager stuns Chillin’ Competition Conference audience by reffering to a disputed paper by former Intel Associate General Counsel and stating that ICT companies charge an average of $120 of royalties per smart phone - when the actual figure is about to $7; and by suggesting that they impose such high-rates by using the threat of injunctions - link to Speech

EU adopts pro-IP measures and hints at new SMEs rules as part of the IPRED review

European Commission adopts new IP/patent measures to support access to and use of intellectual property for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and confirms that SMEs-specific measures will be considered as part of the ongoing review of Directive 2004/48/EC on the enforcement of IP rights.

Regulatory restriction to Patent rights will affect innovation and benefit free-riders

The 4ip Council published an article by Prof. Dr. Klaus-J. Melullis, which critically analyses the arguments put forward that the patent and its enforcement limit competition, differentiating between SEP and non-SEP. The article further analyses the potential need for regulatory intervention in the litigation system and the expected consequences of such potential intervention on competition, investments, research and development activities and innovation

New empirical evidence reveals 83% decline in essential patents contributions to the IEEE

After more than 18 months in operation, the new IEEE patent policy adopted in March 2015 appears to have resulted in an 83% decline in the average supply rate of non-duplicate LOAs to IEEE standard development activities.

WIPO study demonstrates importance of patents in the SMEs' innovation process

A study by the Center of Law and Information Policy and funded by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), entitled "Patents and small participants in the smatphone industry" concludes that:

A new research shows the real annual licensing return from mobile market.

Professor Stephen Haber of Stanford, Professor Alexander Galetovic of the Universidad de los Andes in Chile and Lew Zaretski, the head of IP strategy firm Hamilton IPV have released a new study on the licensing revenues of 32 major licensors to the mobile sector.

Slovenia passes law on ratification of the UPC Agreement

Draft legislation enabling the Republic of Slovenia to ratify the Agreement on a Unified Patent Court was signed into law by the President of the Republic last Friday, 30 September 2016.

IP Europe Comments on Revised U.S. FTC and DoJ Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property

IP Europe Comments on Proposed Update to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice 1995 Antitrust Guidelines for the Licensing of Intellectual Property 

CEN-CENELEC IPR policy on Standard Essential Patents: "FRAND is procedural, not distributional”

CEN and CENELEC, two of the main Standard Setting Organisations, just released a new IPR policy position paper on Standard Essential Patent and Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) commitments.  Link to the CEN-CENELEC PDF version of the Paper

According to CEN-CENELEC paper, there is no objection to the development of a standard that includes patented inventions provided that patent holders commit to make their technology available and grant a licence under

Takeaways from “Let Innovators Innovate” event in Turin, June 28

Italian SMEs stand together for patents and innovation in Europe 

Over 30 participants including innovative SMEs, industrial corporations, investors and venture capitalists engaged with a vibrant debate on how to make Europe the most attractive hub for innovators.

Let innovators innovate !

Executive Networking Session & Working Lunch with Innovative SMEs hosted by Torino Wireless 
June 28th, 2016 – Torino, Italy

Investing in R&D, securing fair returns for your patented inventions and the importance of open technology standards: what are the new business and policy challenges for innovative entrepreneurs in Europe? How can we make Europe a better place for your company and investors? 

Déclaration du Conseil sur la standardisation des TIC pour le Marché Unique Numérique

IP Europe salue la déclaration de soutien de l’Union Européenne aux normes européennes dans l’innovation et la technologie.

EU Council Declaration on ICT Standardisation for the Digital Single Market

IP Europe warmly welcomes the adoption of the May 26th 2016 Declaration of the Council of the EU on the European Commission Communication “ICT Standardisation Priorities for the Digital Single Market”

IEEE royalty rate fixing would probably breach EU competition law

Article by Professor Nicolas Petit, published on

Let's keep Europe innovating!

We are accustomed to assume that companies taking the risk of creating new technologies can get a fair return on investment while manufactures that license the technology on Fair and Non – Discriminatory ( FRAND ) terms can make products without having to invest in their own risky R&D. But lately there have been attempts to waken FRAND in ways that would discourage invention companies’ participation. The result would be proprietary technology platforms that offer consumers little choice instead of standardization, and that would dash European hopes for the digital single market. We hope policy maker will recognize the danger of upsetting a balanced, fair-for-all FRAND-based open standards system that produced some of the most profound advances in the history of humankind and kindled widespread economic growth.

Ericsson and Nokia the latest to confirm that they will not license under the new IEEE patent policy

SOURCE: AIM (April 10, 2016)

Ericsson and Nokia have told IAM that they will not be making licensing commitments under the new patent policy introduced by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). The moves, which follow similar announcements by Qualcomm and InterDigital, place serious questions over the IEEE’s ability to implement the changes across the tech industry and to maintain its status as one of the leading standards organisations in areas such as Wi-Fi.

Both Ericsson and Nokia informed the IEEE that it would not license under the new policy some months before the changes were confirmed in February. However, up until now neither company has confirmed its decision nor spoken publicly about the reasons.

“The new policy risks reducing the value of standard essential patents (SEPs) to the point where there’s no business sense in contributing new technology when the rewards will be so meagre,” Monica Magnusson, Ericsson’s IP rights commercialisation manager explained in an exclusive interview with IAM.

In a statement sent to us today (Friday), a spokesperson for Nokia detailed its opposition to the changes: “Nokia believes that the new IEEE patent policy removes incentives for companies to make their patents available for licensing under IEEE standards in the future, and the lack of compatibility with other standards organisations sets IEEE apart from the standardisation community.” The statement ended: “Nokia notified IEEE before the changes were adopted that it would not be prepared to make licences available under the new patent policy, but that it would continue to honour commitments already given under the previous policy. Nokia will stick to that position and is prepared to offer licences under its future SEPs on the previous patent policy terms.”

The new IEEE patent policy significantly shifts the balance of power in licensing negotiations over SEPs between companies contributing to a standard and those implementing the patents. Among a range of changes, it reduces the chances of patent owners obtaining injunctive relief against potential licensees who say they are willing to negotiate deals but then fail to agree terms and shifts the basis for royalty payments so that they relate to a patent’s contribution to a standard rather than to the value of an overall device.   

The IEEE confirmed that it was making the changes to its patent policy after they had been approved by a series of majority votes by the Institute’s patent committee, its board of governors and its board of directors. The US Department of Justice also gave the changes its blessing insisting in a business review letter that the new policy could help reduce the chance of patent hold-up and royalty stacking.

However, the changes have proved controversial from the start. Soon after they were announced Qualcomm revealed that it would only make licensing commitments under the old policy. InterDigital then followed suit with company CEO Bill Merritt explaining their opposition to the changes in a blog post for IAM

Last week Cisco General Counsel Mark Chandler and the company’s senior director for anti-trust and competition Gil Ohana, responded to Merritt’s article in a piece for EE Times. In it they declared: “Cisco and the other tech industry leaders that supported the updates agree: what the IEEE has done benefits tech industry innovation and the customers Cisco and other tech industry leaders serve.”

As that article underlined, the fallout over the new IEEE standards resembles many of the disagreements in the tech community over current patent law and policy. One group of tech companies is pushing strongly for broad legislative changes and strong judicial action to curb what they see as abusive action by patent owners, while another group insists that proposed changes represent a fundamental diminishing of patent rights. With the IEEE now facing the prospect of having to implement two policies, how it responds will be closely followed by patent owners and licensees alike.

3 Commission consultations on the next H2020 work programme (2018-2020) closing on April 30

Three new public consultations on the next EU R&D work programme (2018-2020) were annouved by the European Commission. The of these consultaitons is to collect ideas on the new R&D theme that the EU should be investing in. 

Commissioner Bieńkowska announces measures to help research centres and SMEs to better use their IP & inventions

Answering a parliamentary question on the protection of intellectual property rights and SMEs by MEP Therese Comodini Cachia (PPE, Malta), Commissioner Bieńkowska referred to the Communication  ‘Upgrading the Single Market: more opportunities for people and business’ published on 28 October 2015, and stated that a package of measures to assist small entities such as start-ups, universities, research centres and young entrepreneurs to better use Intellectual Property Rights in order to exploit their creations and inventions, will be implemented within the same timeframe of the Unitary Patent system, supporting therefore the uptake of unitary patents by innovative SMEs.

IP Europe presents impact of new U.S. IEEE patent rules on innovative SMEs and calls for EU action

On March 17, IP Europe presented the effects of the new US IEEE patents rules and their implications on European innovators to the EU Market Access Committee. Referring to concrete examples, IP Europe asked all government representatives in attendance to “put themselves in the shoes of the innovative SME that have to defend their patents in front of large implementers" –citing the IEEE US corporate sponsors.

T-TIP to include an SME chapter says EU Trade Commissionner Malmström

In an answer to an EU parliamentary question, Ms Cecilia Malmström stated that : “to ensure that SMEs take more advantage of trade agreements, the Commission will include SME provisions in future agreements. For the first time the EU is negotiating an SME chapter in an FTA (TTIP), which will include cooperation, information sharing and an SME Committee.”

20,000 businesses in Spain to benefit from new SME financing deals

The European Investment Fund (EIF) and Compañía Española de Reafianzamiento (CERSA) – part of the Spanish Ministry of Industry - have signed the first InnovFin and COSME counter-guarantee agreements in Spain. These transactions benefit from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the Investment Plan for Europe.

A public consultation to be launched on the next R&D European program (after H2020)

Robert-Jan Smits, director-general for research and innovation, tells the Science|Business annual conference the European Commission is to launch a public consultation on the successor to Horizon 2020 in the autumn.

UPC – one step closer from Germany's ratification

The German Federal Ministry of Justice and Consumer Protection (BMJV) yesterday published the first draft of legislation that will make it possible for Germany to ratify the Unified Patent Court Agreement.  The draft bill was published, together with a second draft bill to implement the Unitary patent system into German law.

EU launches SME Innovation Associate Programme

The SME Innovative Associate programme intends to provide small companies with increased access to specialised skills and knowledge by encouraging mobility.

€ 200 million in new equity funds expected for innovative Start-ups

Equity funds in Italy, the Netherlands, Spain and France have announced fund closings with total commitments of EUR 90 million from the European Investment Fund (EIF), backed by the European Commission's COSME and Horizon 2020 InnovFin programmes.

Public consultation on the Intellectual Property Enforcement Directive (IPRED)

EU Commissioner Bienkowska, responsible for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, answered a Parliamentary question by MEP Marc Tarabella (Socialist & Democrats political group) on the Intellectual Property Enforcement Directive: “the Digital Single Market Strategy announced the need to ensure that the Intellectual Property Enforcement Directive is made fit for purpose for the enforcement challenges raised by the Internet and the Commission will be consulting on this with a view to making appropriate proposals.”

EU Commission identifies priority areas for standards development in the EU

On February 5, 2016 the Euroepan Commission published the preliminary results of its public consultation on standards in the Digital Single Market. The respondents to the public consultation highlighted the importance of standards to adapt quickly and effectively to new technologies. They identified cybersecurity, the Internet of Things , the data economy, cloud and eHealth as top priority areas where standards should be developed. 

185 SMEs from 26 countries funded under Phase 1 of the Horizon 2020 SME Instrument

The winning projects will each be given €50,000 in order to finance feasibility studies for new products that can disrupt the market. Participants will also receive three days of free business coaching.

Launch of IP Europe in the press

The European media reported about the lanch of IP Europe. Please find below links to some news articles: 

European tech companies and research institutes who believe in the value of intellectual property launch IP Europe

IP Europe press release accessible here: Press_Release_IP_Europe_EN

European Commission facilitates SME's access to public contracts

On 5 January, the European Commission adopted the European Single Procurement Document (ESPD) reducing considerably the administrative burden for companies, especially SMEs who want to have a faire chance to win a public contract. The ESPD will apply in each and every Member States. A more global public procurement reform will enter into force on 18 April 2016.

Peiker Acustic joins the Fair Standards Alliance

The Fair Standards Alliance, advocating in favour of the IEEE's IPR policy changes (reducing SEP's royalities by changing their calculation rate and prohibiting SEP patent holders from using injunctive measures) welcomed a new member: Peiker Acustic.

The Risks of Applying FRAND Calculations to Non-SEPs

A recent article written by two US patent attorneys, Stephen Schott and Richard C. Hsu, highlights the recent discussion about the risks of applying the fair, reasonable and non discriminatory (FRAND) royalty rates, usually awarded by the US courts for standard-essential patents, to patents that are not essential to a standard.

The European Commission released its 2016 Rolling Plan for ICT standardisation

The Rolling Plan is a strategic document identifying EU policy priorities in relation with ICT standards and technical specifications, in particular interoperability (including avoidance of technology lock-in) in the ICT domain.