[Brussels: Wednesday, 12 June 2019] Developers of cellular telecommunications standards – including Ericsson, InterDigital, Nokia, Orange, Qualcomm – have teamed-up with leading consumer electronics brands like Mitsubishi and Panasonic to provide practical guidance for businesses interested in making 5G and IoT connected products.
The guidance – called “Principles and guidance for licensing Standard Essential Patents in 5G and the Internet of Things, including the Industrial Internet” – sets out a consensus view of principles for cellular standards licensing. It has been designed as a simple, short and practical guide to encourage more European businesses to take advantage of the huge economic opportunities created by 5G and the IoT – estimated to amount to $11.1 trillion per year by 2025 – and make Europe the world’s leading digital innovation ecosystem.
The document was developed through a CEN-CENELEC Workshop agreement process, which started in October 2017, and has been refined following a thorough public consultation. As well as leading users and innovators of the cellular standard, many other companies and organisations participated in the document’s development. Its signatories include: Cuirassier, Dolby Laboratories Inc., EnergySquare, Ericsson, Fractus, France Brevets, Ikusi (Velatia), InterDigital, Knowence, Koninklijke Philips N.V., Mitsubishi, Nokia, Orange, OSTIUM Group, Panasonic R&D Center Germany GmbH, Qualcomm, Vitirover.
Kerry Miller, Chairman of the CEN-CENELEC Workshop, said: “The success of 5G and the IoT depends on its implementation by hardware manufacturers. The primary objective of the Workshop Agreement is to help more companies understand and navigate the SEPs licensing process. We want to make it easier for SMEs and other companies to access the 5G standard and develop connected products and services for the IoT. We succeed together. It is only this way that we can build and consolidate a true European innovation ecosystem.”
Previous generations of wireless standards have been implemented primarily in smartphones and the ICT sector. The 5G standard has been specifically designed to encourage new sectors to participate in building products and services for the Internet of Things (IoT). Many new companies – large and small – are expected to implement cellular standards in products for the first time.
The CEN-CENELEC Workshop Agreement contains six principles for conducting Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing negotiations, and supplementary guidance on current practices in the ICT sector. Additionally, a Q&A section provides answers to some of the fundamental questions that companies may have on first entering the licensing market.
Fractus CEO and IP Europe’s SME Chair, Rubén Bonet stated: “European companies, especially SMEs, have a huge opportunity to be at the forefront of developing connected products and services that will take advantage of the giant leaps in performance and capability that 5G offers. I believe these Principles and guidance will help SMEs better understand the cellular licensing process, making it easier for them to participate in cellular standards development and licensing, as well as focus on delivering these innovative products and services to Europe and the entire world.”
The CWA guidance has also attracted the attention of the wider business community. Matthew Hitching, European IP Director of Canon, said: “Canon welcomed the opportunity to share our views with the other participants in the creation of this document. Guidance in this area is important and we believe that more opportunities for dialogue between SEP owners and implementers are needed to find an appropriate balance in SEP licensing negotiations and practices. We hope that this CWA initiative will become a stepping stone for future discussions and efforts in further developing SEP licensing practices in this space.”
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