Patent pools are claimed to have several benefits. First, they have the potential to reduce transaction costs for both licensors and licensees. Second, they may reduce discrimination and increase certainty regarding the overall royalty burden implementers face by setting upfront the FRAND terms and conditions for the SEPs they license.
With the advent of the IoT, more and more companies active in different product sectors are introducing connectivity features to their products, including SMEs that may be less familiar with telecom standards and licensing of related SEPs. This raises the question whether patent pools are ideally suited for licensing of SEPs in the different IoT sectors? Is licensing through a patent pool more efficient than bilateral licensing of IoT products? Will patent pools provide more transparency and easier access to licences for new entrants on the market, in particular SMEs? Can groups of implementers collectively negotiate with SEP holders or patent pools? Can patent pools reduce conflict and litigation? How can patent pools be made more attractive for both SEP holders and SEP implementers?
We look forward to your active participation via questions or comments.
The webinar will begin at 14.30 (CET).
Registration is open until 16 April 2021 at noon.
To prepare for the event, you may find the following documents useful.
- Making the most of the EU’s innovative potential – An intellectual property action plan to support the EU’s recovery and resilience, November 2020
- Making the rules: The governance of standard development organisations and their policies on intellectual property rights
- Full contribution of the Group of Experts on Licensing and Valuation of Standard Essential
- 14.30: Welcome speech by a representative of DG COMP, European Commission
- 14.40: Can patent pools solve current bottlenecks in patent licensing, valuation and enforcement and reduce transaction costs?, Taraneh Maghamé, Vice President, Wireless Programs & Corporate Development Via Licensing Corporation
- 15.00: Round table 1: What are the advantages and disadvantages of pool licensing for implementers and SEP holders, SMEs and larger companies, in the different IoT sectors?
- 15.45: Round table 2: How can the formation of patent pools be accelerated?
- 16.20: Round table 3: Are licensee negotiation groups feasible and would they reduce transaction cost, in particular for SMEs without market power?
- 17.00: Are there alternative types of collective licensing, e.g. mandatory patent pools, and would they facilitate SEP licensing on a global level for both SEP holders and implementers, in particular for SMEs?
- 17.30: Closing remarks – Kamil Kiljanski, Acting Director, DG GROW, European Commission
As indicated in the 2020 IP Action Plan, the Commission announced that it will explore ways to improve transparency and predictability in the licensing of SEPs as these are key element for the digital transformation of Europe's industry, such as the roll out of connected cars and other IoT products.