Comments of Scholars of Law, Economics, and Business on Draft SEP Policy Statement - International Center for Law & Economics
Focus Areas:    Antitrust | Intellectual Property | Patent | patent enforcement | patent licensing | SEP | standard setting

Comments of Scholars of Law, Economics, and Business on Draft SEP Policy Statement

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Comments of Scholars of Law, Economics, and Business

Draft USPTO, NIST, & DOJ Policy Statement on Licensing Negotiations and Remedies for Standard-Essential Patents Subject to Voluntary F/RAND Commitments

Docket ATR-2021-0001

Submitted Feb. 4, 2022

We are scholars of law, economics, and business who work in areas related to intellectual property, antitrust, strategy, and innovation. We write to express our concerns with the December 6, 2021, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division (DOJ) draft statement on remedies for the infringement of standard-essential patents (SEPs) (“Draft Policy Statement”).[1] This statement would effectively repudiate guidance published by these same agencies in 2019.[2]

While the Draft Policy Statement may seem even-handed at first sight, its implementation would have far-reaching consequences that would significantly tilt the balance of power in SEP-reliant industries, in favor of implementers and to the detriment of inventors. In turn, this imbalance is liable to harm consumers through reduced innovation, resulting from higher contract-enforcement costs and lower returns to groundbreaking innovations. And by making it harder for U.S. tech firms to enforce their intellectual property (IP) rights against foreign companies, the Draft Policy Statement threatens to erode America’s tech-sector leadership.

Read the full comments here.

[1] U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, Draft Policy Statement on Licensing Negotiations and Remedies for Standard-Essential Patents Subject to Voluntary F/RAND Commitments (Dec. 6, 2021), available at https://www.justice.gov/atr/page/file/1453471/download [hereinafter “Draft Policy Statement”].

[2] U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the U.S. Department of Justice, Antitrust Division, Policy Statement on Licensing Remedies for Standard-Essential Patents Subject to Voluntary F/RAND Commitments (Dec. 19, 2019), available at https://www.uspto.gov/sites/default/files/documents/SEP%20policy%20statement%20signed.pdf.

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