31 / 05 / 2023

EARTO Position Paper on EC Draft Proposal for a Regulation on Standard Essential Patents (SEPs)

The European Commission (EC) has recently published a draft proposal for a regulation on Standard Essential Patents (SEPs). In the frame of the discussions on such regulation, EARTO hereby provides its input to the EC’s formal amending regulation (EU)2017/1001 of 27 April 2023. EARTO agrees with the EC that technical standardisation and SEP licensing are of the utmost importance to the European innovation ecosystem, and welcomes the attention given by the EC to this topic. However, EARTO is concerned that the proposed Regulation, if adopted, would be detrimental to the functioning of the European innovation ecosystem and ultimately to the European consumers of technologically advanced products.

Accordingly, if this regulation is confirmed as necessary by Member States, EARTO calls on the EC to ensure that its new Regulation will:

  • not induce new insecurities for market players,
  • not lead to new hurdles (additional red tape and additional costs) for Intellectual Property (IP) owners to participate in SEP licensing,
  • consider aspects of global competitiveness and,
  • not come to the detriment of the European RD&I actors.

EARTO expresses its great concern with the following:

  1. Proportionality: EARTO cannot today endorse the currently proposed measures not viewing their necessity in the current market for high-tech products. The proposed Regulation is too far-reaching, overreaching its stated objectives. 
  2. Contra-productive: The proposed Regulation will disrupt the global processes for technology transfer. The present system has grown over the years as a time-tested balance of the various business interests between innovators and technology implementors.
  3. Increasing Costs: The proposed Regulation will severely increase the costs for IP owners to participate in technical standardisation processes and SEP licensing. This would discourage RD&I actors such as universities and RTOs from participating in the process.
  4. Unbalanced and In Contradiction with other EU Policies & Regulations: The proposed Regulation is out of tune with other EU Policies, especially RD&I Policy and EU Competition law.
  5. Global competitiveness: The approach chosen by the EC would amount to territorial overreach and would probability trigger similar measures by other jurisdictionsas well as probably contrary to the TRIPS Agreement.

Read the full paper and recommendations here