The present article offers an insight into the world of standard essential patents licensing and its transition from the telecommunications sector to the automotive sector.
Manveen Singh, Associate Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
Vishwas H Devaiah, Professor, Jindal Global Law School, O.P. Jindal Global University, Sonipat, Haryana, India.
The licensing of standard essential patents (SEPs) has, for a large part of the last three decades, occupied a pivotal position in the development of information and communications technology standards. But while much of the focus has been on SEP licensing in the telecommunications sector, the emergence of 5 G and the Internet of Things has led to the automotive sector being labelled as the next major battleground for technology owners and implementers.
Automobile manufacturers have traditionally enjoyed the luxury of collaborations between suppliers and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), without having to harbour concerns involving the licensing of proprietary technology. This is likely to change with the introduction of connected vehicles and the consequent need for interoperability. What might, however, prove to be a challenge for car manufacturers is the lack of acquaintance with the licensing of SEPs and the complexities involving a long supply chain, prompting questions such as at what rate and level in the supply chain would a licence be granted? These questions have attracted a significant amount of debate as well as a series of patent infringement suits involving SEP holders and car manufacturers.
Against this background, the present article offers an insight into the world of SEP licensing and its transition from the telecommunications sector to the automotive sector. It further traces the major developments surrounding SEP licensing in the automotive sector, while offering a comprehensive analysis of the major issues affecting automobile manufacturers on either side of the Atlantic.
Published in: Journal of Intellectual Property Law & Practice
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