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Commission publishes two studies to assess the interplay between standardisation and patents Published on: 12/12/2016

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In December 2016, the European Commission published two studies on standard essential patents (SEPs). A SEP protects technology that is essential to a standards such as those for 4G (LTE) and WiFi networks which rely on hundreds of patented technologies to work.

The first study, by Charles River Associates, evaluates issues and solutions related to SEPs and the standardisation process. The analysis builds on a previous report on patents and standards (PDF, 580kB) prepared for the Commission and on the responses to a public consultation on patents and standards in 2015. The analysis also covers standardisation challenges in the Internet of Things industries.

The  second study, by IPLytics, provides statistical evidence on the importance of SEPs on key technologies in Europe. Based on a unique dataset, the study highlights trends at major standardisation bodies (SSOs) as well as the behaviours of SEP owners and information on their patent portfolio. It also provides key evidence on the need and feasibility of essentiality checks for SEPs. It also offers insights on SEP value and licensing patterns and  the timing of SEPs declarations and stardard releases at SSOs.


These studies are part of the Commission’s work to build on the existing IPR framework to enable easy and fair access to SEPs, as described in the 2016 Communication ’ICT Standardisation Priorities for the Digital Single Market’.

Their results will be used to assess the interplay between standardisation and patents in the EU Single Market.