The Commission invites interested parties to express their views and experiences in order to improve the current system, in particular the transparency and predictability of the licensing framework. With the call for evidence, the Commission is looking for input on the main problem areas identified with the current licensing framework.
In addition, with the public consultation launched in parallel, the Commission seeks to gather views on more specific questions related to SEP licensing and a possible new SEP licensing framework, including regarding its transparency, licensing on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms and conditions, and the enforcement of such a system.
The call for evidence and the public consultation will be open until 9 May 2022. SEPs refer to patents that protect technology essential to a standard. As announced in the 2020 Action Plan on Intellectual Property, the Commission aims at setting the right conditions for a transparent, predictable and efficient SEP system.
Currently, there is little clarity about what patents are truly essential to standards, who owns the licences to these, or how much companies should pay or earn from acquiring such rights. Today’s call for evidence and public consultation build on thorough assessments regarding SEPs in recent years, including a number of studies, an expert group on licensing and valuation of SEPs, a 2017 Communication on 'Setting out an EU approach to SEPs' as well as more recent webinars with key actors in the field.
- Publication date
- 15 February 2022
- Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs