Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs

Public consultation on patents and standards: A modern framework for standardisation involving intellectual property rights

Public consultation on patents and standards: A modern framework for standardisation involving intellectual property rights
Published on: 14/10/2014 Last update: 26/08/2016
Deadline: 15/02/2015
The objective of this consultation was to gather information and views on the interplay between standardisation and intellectual property rights (IPR) such as patents.

Standardisation is the voluntary process of developing technical specifications based on consensus among the interested parties. Standard setting is done by European and international standardisation organisations (ETSI, CEN, CENELEC, ITU, ISO, IEC) and by other organisations, forums and consortia at national, European or international level. Many standards comprise technologies that are patent protected. Public authorities and the standardisation community have developed rules and practices to ensure the efficient licensing of these standard-related patents.


The purpose of the consultation was to allow stakeholders interested in standardisation involving patents to bring to the European Commission's attention their views on:

  • how the current framework governing standardisation involving patents performs
  • how it should evolve to ensure that standardisation remains efficient and adapted to the fast-changing economic and technological environment.

The Commission has the task of ensuring that the EU Single Market works efficiently. Therefore harmonisation standards are particularly important and an efficient standardisation system is crucial for the EU's objectives in the areas of industry policy, innovation, services and technological development.


Summary Report on a public consultation on patents and standards  (243 kB)

Target group(s)

Companies of all sizes, organisations, public authorities, citizens and any other interested stakeholders were welcome to contribute to this consultation.

Those having direct experience with standardisation involving intellectual property rights were particularly encouraged to share their experience and insight. This included those currently active in standardisation activities or planning to become active, as well as those who use standards without taking part in their formulation.

Also encouraged was the participation of those having direct experience with:

  • patent transfers
  • patent pools and other types of patent market intermediation
  • patent dispute resolution (courts, alternative dispute resolution service providers, users of these services etc).

Period of consultation

The consultation was open from 14 October 2014 to 15 February 2015 (the initial deadline of 31 January 2015 was extended by two weeks). It is now closed. 


Eight key questions and modules with more detailed questions can be found in the following questionnaire:

Useful information: Study on 'Patents and Standards'

In 2013 (former) DG Enterprise and Industry commissioned a fact-finding study on the issue of patents and standards that provided useful background to the consultation. The study analyses the rules and practices developed to ensure efficient licensing of standard-related patents. It also covers barriers to efficient licensing and ideas discussed among stakeholders for dealing with these barriers. 

Contributions received

Please find below the non-confidential submissions received in the consultation period (zip files).


Contact details

European Commission, DG Enterprise and Industry
Unit A4 - Industrial Competitiveness Policy for Growth
Avenue d'Auderghem 45, 1040 Bruxelles, Belgium