How to end the abuse of litigation in SEP licensing


Roberto Dini

How to end the abuse of litigation in SEP licensing

Kittisak Jirasittichai /

Some implementers are engaging in hold-out tactics to delay having to take a licence to SEPs, argues Roberto Dini of Sisvel.

In recent decades, the value of intangible assets has consistently increased. In particular, IP rights came to be the engine of the knowledge economy, by incentivising the development of breakthrough technologies. In addition, IP rights themselves became a discrete and quantifiable business as companies leveraged their value via IP sales and licences.

Selling and licensing IP rights—patents in particular—is difficult because the value that the end user is able to experience is not easily calculated. The pricing of ever more complex and feature-rich end user products can result in friction between patent owners and implementers, who have to pay royalties to use the patented technology in a consumer product.

SEP and FRAND commitments

This friction is especially evident in the case of standard-essential patents (SEPs). These are patents that the innovator commits to license on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. The patent owner also undertakes a FRAND assurance before a standard-setting organisation (SSO).

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