Research

Developing robust empirical research on topics related to intellectual property is at the core of 4iP Council’s work. We commission independent experts to provide robust data and information, as well as analysis, on the complex correlation between investment, invention, innovation, employment and social and economic success. Our research is conducted in accordance with agreed methodological principles.

Research, analysis and commentary


FRAND Licensing Levels Under EU Law

by Jean-Sébastien Borghetti, University Paris II Panthéon-Assas; Igor Nikolic, University College London (UCL) and Nicolas Petit, University of Liege and the College of Europe

FRAND Licensing Levels Under EU Law

This summary paper investigates whether EU or national law provide legal authority to impose a direct or indirect obligation on Standard Essential Patent (“SEP”) holders to license at all levels of the value chain, including at component level (“license to all”, hereafter LTA). Extensive analysis of EU text and case-law (general principles of EU law, patent, contract and competition laws) suggests that there are only very limited doctrinal grounds to impose an LTA obligation on SEP holders that made a FRAND commitment. Similarly, French contract law – which applies to FRAND-committed SEP before the European standard setting organisation ETSI – does not give rise to a legal basis for the introduction of a ‘license to all’ regime. In the rare cases where licensing obligations might be imposed on SEP holders, these would effectively be akin to compulsory licensing, where public policy calls for restraint. The full version of this paper may be found on the SSRN website.

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Categories: FRAND, Licensing, Policy, Standardisation

The Value of Connectivity in the Automotive Sector - Full Report

by Prof. Bowman Heiden, Center for Intellectual Property (CIP), Chalmers University of Technology The Hoover Institution, Stanford University

The Value of Connectivity in the Automotive Sector - Full Report

This report explores the actual value that connectivity in vehicles can bring to society and the different sectors affected. Connectivity is one of the four critical mega-trends facing the automotive industry. These trends are autonomous driving, shared mobility and electrification, yet connectivity is both separate and integrated to these other mega-trends. The importance of connectivity is therefore fundamental to the future evolution of the industry.

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Categories: Industry 4.0, Internet of things (IoT)

The Value of Connectivity in the Automotive Sector - A First Look (Summary)

by Prof. Bowman Heiden of the Center for Intellectual Property, Chalmers University of Technology and The Hoover Institute, Stanford University

The Value of Connectivity in the Automotive Sector - A First Look (Summary)

This summary paper looks at the actual value that connectivity in vehicles can bring to society and the different sectors affected. Connectivity is one of the four critical mega-trends facing the automotive industry. These trends are autonomous driving, shared mobility and electrification, yet connectivity is both separate and integrated to these other mega-trends. The importance of connectivity is therefore fundamental to the future evolution of the industry.

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Categories: Industry 4.0, Internet of things (IoT)

Pirates of the 3D Realm: strategies for IP protection from the widespread adoption of additive manufacturing by consumers

by Alessandro Burro, candidate at Bocconi University LL.M. in Law of Internet Technology

Pirates of the 3D Realm: strategies for IP protection from the widespread adoption of additive manufacturing by consumers

Additive manufacturing is a pillar of the 4.0 industry. As it goes for other technologies throughout history, the cost of a 3D printing machine will sink lower and lower, and the accessibility to these machines by consumers will enable them to print with a vast array of materials, thus enabling them to print whatever they would previously buy, in a physical store or from an online retailer. It will be easy to infringe on an IP right with only a cheap 3D printing machine and a digital file from which the machine can take the necessary instructions. This paper considers the IP implications of this evolution and explores the various policies available, or that could be easily available with simple adjustments to current laws, to protect IP rights from the risks associated with the widespread adoption of additive manufacturing by consumers.

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Categories: Industry 4.0, Legislation

Market success for inventions - Patent Commercialisation Scoreboard: European SMEs (Key findings)

Market success for inventions - Patent Commercialisation Scoreboard: European SMEs (Key findings)

This European Patent Office study covers the ability of European small and medium-sized enterprises to bring inventions covered by European patents to market. The study shows that SMEs typically rely on European patents to protect high-potential inventions. Up to two thirds of these inventions are commercially exploited – around half exclusively by an SME itself and half with a partner, usually from another European country. European patents make this process much easier by providing protection in up to 44 different national markets. By analysing the patent commercialisation practices of European SMEs, the study offers policymakers valuable insights into the challenges facing these key players in European innovation ecosystems. The study is the first of a series of scoreboards dedicated to the market success of European patents. See the full report here: https://www.epo.org/service-support/publications.html#tab1

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Categories: Patent System and Patent Quality, SMEs

Injunctions in European Patent Law

by Prof. Dr. Lea Tochtermann of Mannheim University

Injunctions in European Patent Law

The paper covers the legal basis for the discussion on proportionality within TRIPS, European law as well as in selected European jurisdictions, focusing on Germany. It provides an outlook on whether the demand for legislative action is justified. An understanding of the legal background for the proportionality discussion within TRIPS, European law and selected European jurisdictions is offered as well as perspective on the proportionality discussion and its implications concerning the patent system as a whole. The paper was developed by Prof. Tochtermann as a resource supporting the 4iP Council webinar she presented on 14 May 2019 (see our Webinar page). It is a short version of the paper entitled ‘Injunctions in European Patent Law’ published January 2020 in ZGE/IPJ - Zeitschrift für Geistiges Eigentum/Intellectual Property Journal which is available in english and german at  https://www.mohrsiebeck.com/artikel/injunctions-in-european-patent-law-101628zge-2019-0018.

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Categories: IP and Competition Law, IP Enforcement, Legislation

Economic efficiency and field-of-use pricing of SEP licenses under FRAND terms

by Dr Eskil Ullberg, PhD, Adjunct Professor, George Mason University, Virginia, USA and Head of the Trade in Ideas Program, Institute of Management of Innovation and Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.

Economic efficiency and field-of-use pricing of SEP licenses under FRAND terms

This summary paper is concerned with patented technology markets, and whether price differentiation based on field-of-use is economically efficient. The focus is on the licensing of SEPs on FRAND terms and conditions, including also the Internet of Things (IoT) applications, and the economic growth in the digital economy, especially for SMEs. The central argument proposed is that the difference in the value between usages of standardised technologies determines whether a single price for all usages or specific field-of-use prices are economically efficient. The full version of this paper will appear in the forthcoming issue of the Queen Mary Journal of Intellectual Property, Volume 9, 2019.

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Categories: Digital Single Market, FRAND, Licensing, SMEs, Standardisation