Advertisement

Standard Essential Patents and Antitrust Law in the Age of Standardisation and the Internet of Things: Shifting Paradigms

  • Rupprecht PodszunEmail author
Article
  • 5 Downloads

Abstract

The debate on how to promote competition vis-à-vis the exclusivity of patent law has acquired new accents with the necessity to have access to standard essential patents for the Internet of Things. Patent ambush or patent thickets may be obstacles to more connectivity in sectors such as automated driving. Yet, the Court of Justice raised the bar for intervention in the Huawei case on compulsory licenses as a defence against patent violation claims. The European Commission, in its quest to enable the Internet of Things, has therefore turned away from enforcement of the abuse of dominance provisions in patent cases by proposing other tools in its 2017 communication on standard essential patents. The proposals – more transparency for licensing, more open source – may be read as preparation for regulation. The proposals have deficits, too. To remedy the problem, the Commission most probably will introduce sectoral regulation. It may be more fruitful to pursue a competition-oriented path by: (a) a competition-law control of IoT platforms, (b) an innovation-oriented merger policy as started with Dow/Dupont, and (c) the use of interim measures in the specific IoT context according to Art. 8 of Regulation 1/2003 with presumptions of dominance and abuse.

Keywords

Standard-essential patents Competition law Innovation Internet of Things Huawei Interim measures 

Notes

References

  1. Almunía J (2013) IP Summit Paris 2013. http://europa.eu/rapid/press-release_SPEECH-13-1042_en.htm. Accessed 9.12.2013
  2. Angwenyi V (2017) Hold-up, hold-out and F/rand: the quest for balance. GRUR IntGoogle Scholar
  3. Batista PHD, Mazutti GC (2016) Comment on ‘‘Huawei Technologies’’ (C-170/13): standard essential patents and competition law—how far does the CJEU decision go? IIC 47:244–253.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40319-016-0447-z CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bekkers CC, Martinelli A, Righi C, Simcoe T (2017) Disclosure rules and declared essential patents, NBER Working Paper No. 23627. https://www.nber.org/papers/w23627. Accessed 17 May 2019
  5. Block J (2017) Achtzehn Monate nach EuGH “Huawei/ZTE”. Die Rechtsprechung der deutschen Instanzgerichte. GRURGoogle Scholar
  6. Boldin M, Levine DK (2013) The case against patents. J Econ Perspect 27:3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cappuyns P, Vanherpe J (2017) The scoop from Europe: Europe takes on FRAND licensing—again, vol. LII Les NouvellesGoogle Scholar
  8. Chien CV (2016) Opening the patent system diffusionary levers in patent law. Southern Cal. Law Review 89(4)Google Scholar
  9. Colangelo G, Torti V (2017) Filling Huawei’s gaps: the recent German case law on standard essential patents. ECLR Vol. 12Google Scholar
  10. Conde Gallego B, Drexl J (2019) IoT connectivity standards: how adaptive is the current SEP regulatory framework? IIC 50:135–156.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40319-018-00774-w CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Contreras, JL (2018) Much ado about holdup, University of Illinois Law Review, Forthcoming; University of Utah College of Law Research Paper No. 269, February 13, 2018. https://doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3123245. Accessed 17 May 2019
  12. CRA (2016) Report on transparency, predictability and efficiency of SSO-based standardization and SEP licensing. https://ec.europa.eu/docsroom/documents/20506/attachments/1/translations/en/renditions/native. Accessed 17 May 2019
  13. De Toma M, Kreifels S (2016) Fachtagung Kartellrecht 2016: Rechtsprechung—Praxistrends—Perspektiven. WuWGoogle Scholar
  14. Devlin A (2016) Antitrust and patent law. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  15. Eckel G (2017) Anspruch auf Lizenzeinräumung aus FRAND-Erklärungen bei standardessentiellen Patenten – Teil 1. NZKartGoogle Scholar
  16. Europe Economics (2016) Patent Assertion Entities in Europe. http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/bitstream/JRC103321/lfna28145enn.pdf. Accessed 17 May 2019
  17. Feldman R, Lemley MA (2015) Do patent licensing demands mean innovation? Iowa Law Review 101:137Google Scholar
  18. Ghidini G, Trabucco G (2018) Calculating FRAND licensing fees: a proposal of basic pro-competitive criteria. In: Bharadwaj A, Devaiah VH, Gupta I (eds), Complications and quandaries in the ICT sector. SpringerGoogle Scholar
  19. Gurgula O (2017) Strategic accumulation of patents in the pharmaceutical industry and patent thickets in complex technologies—two different concepts sharing similar features. IIC 48:385–404.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40319-017-0551-8 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hall B, Helmers C, von Graevenitz G (2016) Patent thickets and first-time patenting: new evidenceGoogle Scholar
  21. Hauck R, Kamlah D (2016) Was ist “FRAND”? Inhaltliche Fragen zu kartellrechtlichen Zwangslizenzen nach Huawei/ZTE. GRUR IntGoogle Scholar
  22. Hausmann H-C (2008) Das Microsoft-Urteil: Zwischen Kartellrecht und gewerblichen Schutzrechten. MMRGoogle Scholar
  23. Heinemann A (2005) Compulsory licences and product integration in European competition law—assessment of the European Commission’s Microsoft decision. IIC 36:63–82Google Scholar
  24. Heinemann A (2006) Gefährdung von Rechten des geistigen Eigentums durch Kartellrecht? Der Fall “Microsoft" und die Rechtsprechung des EuGH. GRURGoogle Scholar
  25. Henningson K (2016) Injunctions for standard essential patents under FRAND commitment: a balanced, royalty-oriented approach. IIC 47:438–469.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40319-016-0474-9 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hou L (2012) The essential facilities doctrine – what was wrong in Microsoft? IIC 43:451–471Google Scholar
  27. IPYLITICS (2016) Landscaping study standard essential patents (SEPs). https://www.iplytics.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/Pohlmann_IPlytics_2017_EU-report_landscaping-SEPs.pdf. Accessed 17 May 2019
  28. Kerber W, Schwalbe U (2015) In: Münchener Kommentar, EU-Wettbewerbsrecht, 2nd ednGoogle Scholar
  29. Koelman KJ (2006) An exceptio standardis: do we need an IP exemption for standards? IIC 37:823–843Google Scholar
  30. Lo Bue M (2017) The High Court judgment on Unwired Planet vs. Huawei Narrows the scope of competition law defence in SEP litigation. Italian Antitrust Review 4(1)Google Scholar
  31. Machlup F (1958) An economic study of the patent system, study for Congress. https://mises.org/sites/default/files/An%20Economic%20Review%20of%20the%20Patent%20System_Vol_3_3.pdf. Accessed 17 May 2019
  32. Moser P (2016) Patents and innovation in economic history, NBER Working Paper 21964. https://www.nber.org/papers/w21964. Accessed 17 May 2019
  33. Nguyen TT (2008) Competition rules in the TRIPS Agreement—the CFI’s ruling in Microsoft v. Commission and implications for developing countries. IIC 39:558–586Google Scholar
  34. Pentheroudakis C, Thumm N (2015) Innovation in the European digital single market: the role of patents, JRC Sciency and Policy ReportGoogle Scholar
  35. Picht P (2017) Unwired Planet v Huawei: A Seminal SEP/FRAND decision from the UK. vol. 12 JIPLPGoogle Scholar
  36. Picht PG (2018) “FRAND wars 2.0”—Rechtsprechung im Anschluss an die Huawei/ZTE-Entscheidung des EuGH (Teil 1). WuWGoogle Scholar
  37. Podszun R (2010) Immaterialgüterrecht Geistiges Eigentum und KartellrechtJuraGoogle Scholar
  38. Podszun R (2014) Can competition law repair patent law and administrative procedures? AstraZeneca. vol. 51 CMLRGoogle Scholar
  39. Podszun R (2017) SEP litigation and Huawei: negotiations in the shadow of competition law. The Antitrust Bulletin 62:786–805CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Podszun R (2018) The role of economics in competition law—the “effects-based approach” after the Intel-judgment of the CJEU. EuCMLGoogle Scholar
  41. Podszun R, Franz B (2017) Nach Huawei/ZTE: Die kartellrechtliche Zwangslizenz im Patentverletzungsprozess. ZWeRGoogle Scholar
  42. Shapiro C (2001) Navigating the patent thicket: cross licenses, patent pools, and standard-setting, NBER conference on innovation policy and the economy, 2001Google Scholar
  43. Shapiro C (2012) Competition and innovation. In: Lerner J, Stern S (eds), The rate and direction of inventive activity revisited. NBERGoogle Scholar
  44. Straus J (2009) Patentanmeldung als Missbrauch der marktbeherrschenden Stellung nach Art. 82 EGV?. GRUR IntGoogle Scholar
  45. Surblyte G (2011) The refusal to disclose trade secrets as an abuse of market dominance—Microsoft and beyond. Stämpfli VerlagGoogle Scholar
  46. Tsilikas H (2017) Huawei v. ZTE in context—EU Competition policy and collaborative standardization in wireless telecommunications. IIC 48:151–178.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s40319-017-0560-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Vestager M (2015) 19th IBA competition conference Florence. https://ec.europa.eu/commission/commissioners/2014-2019/vestager/announcements/intellectual-property-and-competition_en. Accessed 11 Sept 2015
  48. Williams HL (2017) How do patents affect research investments? NBER Working Paper 23088. http://www.nber.org/papers/w23088. Accessed 17 May 2019

Copyright information

© Max Planck Institute for Innovation and Competition, Munich 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Prof. Dr.; Chair for Civil Law, German and European Competition LawHeinrich Heine UniversityDüsseldorfGermany

Personalised recommendations