Patent Pledges

Standards-Essential Patents and FRAND Licensing

Technical interoperability standards are ubiquitous in the modern information infrastructure.  Most of these standards are developed within voluntary consensus standards organizations (SDOs) that are open to broad industrial, academic and governmental participation.  When private actors obtain patents covering standardized technology, they can exert significant pressure on markets for standardized products.  Thus, many SDOs require their participants do disclose patents covering standards prior to adoption or finalization and/or require participants to license such patents on “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” (FRAND) terms. Needless to say, defining FRAND has not been easy, and the meaning of FRAND is at the core of much of the patent litigation that is currently sweeping the smart phone industry. The results are being watched closely by regulatory and enforcement agencies across the world, and will likely have a major impact on the future of this and other industries.

PIJIP Database of IPR pledges

This table collects publicly-available statements and commitments made with respect to patents and patent licensing outside of formal standards-development organizations (SDOs). Some of these statements and commitments relate to the use of patents essential to standards, but others relate to uses in open source software and other contexts. Click here to access the table.

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