4iP News

Public consultation: 4iP submits position paper to DG Grow on patents and standards

14 February 2015

Patents and Standards: A modern framework for standardisation involving intellectual property rights

Introduction

Patents are a key ingredient in promoting innovation, on the basis that patents can protect successful results of R&D investments, allowing the inventor to seek return on these efforts and incentivising further investments in R&D. Patents also create legal certainly around technology ownership which is critical in enabling collaborative R&D activities and technology transfer. In the standardisation context this is seen through licensing programmes. Licensing agreements foster open standardisation because they allow participating companies to disclose and share their new technology openly and early, knowing their inventions will be protected. The patent system therefore encourages participation in standardisation; the alternative is for technology developers to keep their technology secret. In complex technologies, however, one company cannot by itself offer the interoperability and performance at a reasonable price requested by the market. As the world becomes ever more interconnected, i.e. more and more devices are able to ‘talk to each other’, interoperability and high performance will become increasingly relevant. To the extent that the European standardisation policy continues to promote open standards, TIIC sees patents playing a decisive role.