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Concerned that standard implementers could be at risk of hold-up by a new SEP owner, competition authorities have generally taken the position that SSOs should create contractual commitments that, subject to local law, bind successors to original FRAND obligations.Some SSOs have taken or are in the process of taking such steps but the legal issues are complex.SSO Approaches to IPR Issues The committee’s selection of SSOs to examine represents a diversity of organization types (both formal standards organizations and consortia) and geographical foci (U.
Inventors generally seek economic returns on their R&D investments while users of technologies want access to them on affordable terms.There is uncertainty about how standards policies will evolve in China, India, and Brazil in particular and how they will treat intellectual property incorporated in standards. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) asked the National Academies to examine and report on the role of patents in standard-setting processes in an international context.In a world of rapid technological change and diffusion, proliferating patents, and frequent litigation over patents, the relationship of patents to standards obviously has enormous implications for firms, national economies, and global trade. The Academies appointed a committee composed of academic economists and social scientists, legal scholars, standards professionals, and technologists and charged them with documenting and evaluating the policies and practices of different types of SSOs in different geographical contexts, focusing on such matters as patent disclosures, terms of licensing, and provisions for the transfer of obligations when patents are traded, sold, or disposed in bankruptcy proceedings.A FRAND commitment is also mutual in the sense that both the SEP holder and any prospective licensee are expected to negotiate in good faith towards a license on reasonable terms and conditions that reflect the economic value of the patented technology.
Recommendation 3:1 The committee urges SSOs to become more explicit in their IPR policies regarding their understanding of and expectations about FRAND licensing commitments.But industry views are divided, as might be expected; and as a result, none of the SSO policies the committee examined imposes any restrictions on what legal remedies a member or third-party beneficiary of a licensing commitment may pursue in court or in the International Trade Commission.