E. Blum & Co. Ltd. - Patent and Trademark Attorneys - Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

Information and Communication Technology (ICT)

To understand each other, humans need to talk the same language. In technical communication, a common language is achieved by standards. Standards such as LTE or 5G promote communication by enabling products of different suppliers to communicate with each other. In some sense, standards are the direct opposite of intellectual property rights granting a monopoly to a single player.

Now, what happens if a company is the owner of a patent protecting technology used in a standard? Is the patent owner in a position to exclude others from using the standard when enforcing his/her patent? By now, the European Court of Justice has provided answers: According to Huawei vs. ZTE, the owner of a standard-essential patent (SEP) is required to conduct serious license negotiations with a potential licensee under so called FRAND terms (Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory). Else, the SEP owner no longer can enforce his/her SEP. In any such scenario, you are invited to discuss your issue with our patent attorneys listed below, and/or with our lawyers negotiating and drafting license agreements for you. For further information please see also Information and Communication Technology or our post on Internet of Things (IoT).