Making SEP agreements fair: why Europe should take the lead


Brian Scarpelli

Making SEP agreements fair: why Europe should take the lead

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Europe’s efforts to improve the licensing process for standard-essential patents have the best chance of success globally, argues Brian Scarpelli of the App Association.

Standard-essential patents (SEPs) are well known for the prolific, high stakes lawsuits they provoke, especially in the related fields of technology and telecoms. In the EU, several prominent cases have grabbed headlines in recent years. The landmark Huawei v ZTE case is one notable example, and cases continue to pile up across the EU.

In Germany in particular, a steady stream of high-profile SEP suits continue to be filed with, most recently, LG Electronics seeking an injunction against French smartphone maker Wiko in the Mannheim Court. In the UK, the English High Court has been adjudicating a SEP dispute between Philips and Taiwanese firms HTC and AsusTek.

Yet SEP litigation takes place all around the world, not just in Europe, and invariably it involves companies from many countries, reflecting the fact that supply chains are global. Unless something changes, it is safe to predict many more years of hugely expensive SEP litigation.

SEP, SEP agreements, Europe, licensing, standard-essential patents, Brian Scarpelli, App Association, EU, patent, LG Electronics, Huawei, ZTE, Wiko