10 October 2017
Reporter: Barney Dixon

Tech companies create SEP code of conduct

Ericsson, Nokia and Airbus are among technology companies and innovators, represented by research and development organisation IP Europe, that are aiming to create an industry code of conduct on licensing standard essential patents (SEPs) for 5G and the internet of things.

At a workshop in Paris on 6 October, hosted by the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN) and Electrotechnical Standardisation (CENLEC), IP Europe produced a draft project plan for a code of conduct, which will establish best practice SEP licensing arrangements for the internet of things marketplace.

According to IP Europe, the goal is to “help technology contributors and users in the internet of things ecosystem find Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) outcomes to licensing negotiations, and avoid the further spread of litigation”.

Kerry Miller, head of IP regulatory affairs at Nokia, said: “It is pleasing that despite the contentious nature of this debate, CEN and CENELEC managed to bring so many important stakeholders around the table today to discuss the development of an industry code of conduct on SEP licensing.”

“We have already heard from a number of other technology firms that they are considering joining the process.”

He added: “Our hope is that more standards implementers will join the workshop and our effort to safeguard good-faith licensing negotiations. Our vision is for simple, transparent, open and efficient licensing in the internet of things marketplace—especially for those manufacturers likely to want to implement connectivity standards in their sector for the first time.”

Francisco Mingorance, executive secretary of IP Europe, explained: “Leading European technology companies, including the members of IP Europe, continue to invest and collaborate to complete 5G and internet of things standards.”

“In order to ensure the continued success of the FRAND licensing system going forward, they are also committed to starting a broad effort targeted at providing guidance on licensing best practice, especially for those companies that are new to the standardisation environment, and for small and medium-sized enterprises.”

The code of conduct is to be completed by Q1 next year.

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