New EU Regulatory Regime for SEPs Will Upend Mobile Telecommunications Sector
This article from IP scholar Adam Mossoff presents the proposed EU SEP Regulation, which is due to
be released on 26 April by DG GROW.
According to Mossoff, the leaked SEP Regulation would be counterproductive to a range of European
goals, including ongoing innovation in cellular technology and a central role in standardization. He
points out that available evidence suggests that, at best, the SEP Regulation is unnecessary – and
that, at worst, it could stunt innovation and economic growth in the EU in the years to come.
A concern raised by the author is that the EUIPO has no previous patent law experience, yet the SEP
Regulation plans to hand full control of important SEP issues to the EUIPO. The EUIPO would
determine what patents are able to be classed as essential, thus, SEPs, along with the appropriate
royalty rates for licensing such SEPs, in addition to mandating public disclosure of licensing
agreements. Furthermore, it would also be able to prohibit licensing or litigation of SEPs that have
not been confirmed as essential, that have not been registered, or that have set a different royalty
rate for the relevant SEPs.
The author argues that, if adopted, the SEP Regulation would destabilize the global
telecommunications market as well as strongly favouring IP users over innovators.
Furthermore, Mossoff notes that this type of regulation could be advantageous for China, which
could leverage it to continue discriminatory treatment against Western innovators in cellular
technology. Overall, he expresses concern that the new EU SEP Regulation would negatively affect
technological innovation and economic growth in the EU by destroying incentives for SEP owners to
continue investing in R&D and participating in open standardization processes.
Click here to read the full article:
New EU Regulatory Regime for SEPs will Upend Mobile Telecommunications Sector, by Adam
Mossoff, 12 April 2023, IPWatchdog.
For further reading, additional resources about the leaked SEP Regulation include:
The European Commission’s SEP licensing plans are terrible on every level, by Joff Wild, 30 March
Exclusive: EU patent body to oversee tech-standard patent royalties – EU draft rule, by Foo Yun
Chee, 28 March 2023, Reuters.
European Commission departs from best practices in hasty preparation of standard-essential patent
policy proposal that is fundamentally flawed and unbalanced, by Florian Mueller, 29 March 2023,
European Commission to propose radical new SEP/FRAND regime with major consequences for
patent owners, by Adam Houldsworth, 29 March 2023, IAM.
European Commission set to give EUIPO responsibility for standard essential patents: big challenges
lie ahead, by Trevor Little, 29 March 2023, World Trademark Review.
Proposed EU SEP regulation will also harm net licensees: implementers of standard-essential patents
must be careful what they wish for, by Florian Mueller, 2 April 2023, FOSS Patents.