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.

Publications and Resources

News and Blogs

PIJIP News

New Paper by Prof. Anderson Published in William & Mary Law Review - Nonexcludable Surgical Method Patents

New Paper by Prof. Anderson Published in William & Mary Law Review - Nonexcludable Surgical Method Patents

29 Apr, 2020

PIJIP Professor Jonas Anderson's new paper Nonexcludable Surgical Method Patents has been published in the William & Mary Law Review. The paper explores the motivation behind the patenting of a certain class of patents that cannot be enforced. 

Read more
Professor Farley on WNYC Story about Coronavirus-Related Trademarks

Professor Farley on WNYC Story about Coronavirus-Related Trademarks

27 Apr, 2020

PIJIP Professor and Faculty Director Christine Farley was quoted on WNYC (New York Public Radio) this morning, on a segment titled "Coronavirus Pandemic Triggers A Rush to Trademark Virus-Related Words and Slogans".

Read more
New Paper by Professors Sean Flynn and Michael Carroll: Implementing User Rights for Research in the Field of Artificial Intelligence

New Paper by Professors Sean Flynn and Michael Carroll: Implementing User Rights for Research in the Field of Artificial Intelligence

20 Apr, 2020

PIJIP Professors Sean Flynn and Michael Carroll are two of the seven coauthors of a new paper to be published in the June 2020 issue of the European Intellectual Property Review.

Read more

About PIJIP

The Program on Information Justice and Intellectual Property (PIJIP) is the internationally recognized intellectual property and information law research and academic program of American University Washington College of Law (AUWCL). PIJIP’s academic programs, including our new LL.M. degree in Intellectual Property, and a first in the nation IP Clinic, offer an unparalleled course of study in the fields of intellectual property and information law. PIJIP’s faculty is among the most prolific and engaged IP faculties in the world. Full-time faculty teach courses in every major topic of the field, including Copyright, Patent, Trademark, Trade Secret, Cyberlaw, and a full array of international intellectual property law courses.