BERLIN, February 12th 2018: ACT | The App Association (ACT) and the Fair Standards Alliance (FSA) today established a CEN CENELEC Workshop to examine the licensing of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) in Europe, in particular in the field of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Delegates from a wide range of companies both large and small, as well as standards experts from around Europe gathered in Berlin on Monday for a kick-off meeting of the workshop or CWA, which will focus on the technical aspects of SEP licensing.
The workshop comes just over two months after the European Commission published its policy guidelines for SEP licensing.
“The Commission’s Communication on this topic demonstrates the importance of SEP-protected technologies to the future of innovations and the IoT. The workshop we helped establish today, together with FSA and secretarial support of the German standards body DIN, under the CEN CENELEC umbrella, will look at the nuts and bolts of this important link in the innovation chain,” said Morgan Reed, President of ACT.
“With so many leading innovative European and global companies – both large and small – as members of the Fair Standards Alliance, we believe that the forum we have co-created with ACT offers a real opportunity for the broader industry to identify industry best practices for open and transparent SEP licensing that will unlock the true potential of the IoT for Europe and the world.”, said Robert Pocknell, FSA Chairman.
The aim of the CWA is to develop and establish industry best practices for SEP licensees and licensors that will be fair to all parties and prevent legal obstacles from hampering Europe’s adoption of the Internet of Things, which a European Commission study says will unlock more than €1 trillion in terms of market value within the next two years.
“IoT pioneers include downstream companies such as small app developers, IoT device manufacturers and big industrial groups such as automotive manufacturers as well as upstream innovators,” said Mr Reed. “SEP-protected communications technologies are vital to their innovation process too, but they mustn’t be allowed to hold it to ransom in the pursuit of unreasonable and undeserved licensing fees.”
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ACT | The App Association represents more than 5,000 app companies and information technology firms in the mobile economy. The organization advocates for an environment that inspires and rewards innovation while providing resources to help its members leverage their intellectual assets to raise capital, create jobs, and continue innovating. In addition to its small business membership, ACT | The App Association has several Sponsors including Apple, AT&T, eBay, Facebook, Intel, Microsoft, Oracle, PayPal, VeriSign, Flurry, and Verizon.
The Fair Standards Alliance is a not-for- profit organisation formed toward the end of 2015 to strengthen the voice in Europe of companies which believe that the licensing of standards-essential patents (SEPS) required in so many modern products today must be done on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis (FRAND). This is important because industry standards are part of our everyday lives ensuring that there is compatibility and interoperability of components and products we all use, all of the time (i.e. smartphones, tablets, cars etc.). These standards also allow for the innovation which will be behind turning the Internet of Things into a reality for millions of people across Europe and the world.