On February 10, 2021, the SEPs Expert Group (Expert Group on Standard Essential Patents), an advisory body of the EU Commission, which has been meeting since 2018, published a very comprehensive contribution (229 pages) on the topic of FRAND (see here). From the German side, well-known representatives of the Federal Court of Justice (Bundesgerichtshof – BGH) and industry participated. With the help of the SEPs Expert Group, the EU Commission has compiled a series of proposals that may reduce “NonDiscriminatory” disputes and court proceedings.
This includes, for example, the creation of a confidential collection of SEP license agreements which can be made available, if required, to courts of the Member States, arbitration tribunals, competition authorities (Proposal 47 und Proposal 67). Under Section 3.4 (“Negotiations and Handling Disputes,”), another proposal (Proposal 49) is a set of rules for IoT licensing to facilitate, among other things, the negotiation of SEP licensing terms, which was created by the EU Commission with input from industry. Following these proposals, measures are then offered to better handling disputes. These include certain (royalty) payments, the formation and holding of expert committees that can help to resolve SEP disputes. For this purpose, the establishment of a specialized mediation institute for FRAND licensing disputes (Proposal 70) and specialized, fast-acting arbitration boards (Proposal 71) are also proposed.
Müller Schupfner & Partner is very well prepared for these challenges and can offer attorneys at law and patent attorneys who have extensive experience as party representatives and also as mediators and arbitrators in such SEP disputes.
Dr. Michael Groß F. Peter Müller