Standards Essential Patents

Standards Essential Patents (SEPs) claim inventions that must be complied with to satisfy a technical standard.  Think for example, MP3 music compression technology.  Given that essentially everyone needs to license patents covering aspects of the standard, it is critical that everyone has a reasonable opportunity to license the patent rights at a reasonable, non-discriminatory fee (so-call FRAND licenses).  See e.g., Wikipedia article.  Naturally, some bad actors try to circumvent that arrangement, by seeking excessive rates from potential licensees.  And that problem has historically been compounded by different rules in different jurisdictions.  In August 2020 the U.K. Supreme Court took a giant step towards international conformity by holding that English courts have the power to set global licensing rates for multinational patent portfolios under European telecom standards!

Standards Essential Patent Graphic