The IPO is launching a questionnaire for SME, small-cap and mid-cap businesses on Standard Essential Patents. The Government wants to hear views from SME, small-cap and mid-cap businesses on the current Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) framework. This will help the Government ensure that the ecosystem around SEPs is functioning effectively and striking the right balance for entities involved. They particularly want to hear from those involved with the development or production of interoperable products or services that use technical standards. This will inform on issues such as:
- Do you have sufficient information on how your innovation relates to SEPs?
- Is the current system fair for everyone involved in the licensing and implementing of SEPs, or is change needed?
- If you use a licence, were you offered it on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms?
- Do you have enough information on the pricing of SEPs that you licence or may licence in future?
- What your experience has been in respect of licensing disagreements and how were they resolved?
The Government believes that standards and SEPs will be of growing importance to the UK economy, and the government’s ambition for the UK to be a science and technology superpower and innovation hub. It’s important that the frameworks around SEPs work in a balanced and fair way for innovation and consumers.Adam Williams, Chief Executive and Comptroller-General of the Intellectual Property Office, said: “As technologies evolve and become more widespread in all our daily activities, it is increasingly likely that UK SME, small-cap and mid-cap businesses will interact with Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) – for example, when they wish to innovate a product which requires the use of technical standards. It’s vital that we gather the views of these types of businesses on the SEP framework and how it’s working for them, including any barriers it may cause to innovation and business scale-up. “We would like to invite all SME, small-cap and mid-cap businesses respond to our questionnaire and share their views. The responses we receive will help us better understand how the current SEPs framework encourages innovation and promotes competition. This will help shape future government policy in this ever-more important area for UK industry, and help us to identify whether any changes are needed.”
Businesses can share their views by responding to the questionnaire by 11:59 on Monday 24 April 2023.