Top European Standards Expert Blasts Companies seeking to Undermine SEP Licensing to All


Brussels, 7th November 2017  The Fair Standards Alliance (FSA) today offered its support to Karl Rosenbrock’s latest paper which shows the hypocrisy of some Standard Essential Patent (SEP) holder companies who have now changed their tune on SEP licensing in a cynical attempt to cream billions in extra profit from industry and ultimately consumers.

In the paper, Mr. Rosenbrock, Life-long Honorary Director-General of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), rebuts the arguments of those who seek to undermine the principle of “licensing at all levels”, confirming:

  • First, that a promise to license SEPs on Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND)  terms and conditions, under the ETSI IPR Policy, allows every company that requests a license to obtain one, regardless of whether the prospective licensee is active upstream or downstream;
  • Second, that a number of companies which now oppose upstream licensing of SEPs, for many years supported it; and
  • Third, that “end-use royalties” could be misused to pervert the “license to all” principle.”

Robert Pocknell, Chairman of the Fair Standards Alliance stated, “This paper puts the spotlight on the false and dangerous claims being made by a number of so-called SEP holders trying to undermine the important principal of ‘licensing for all’– even though they committed to license such SEPs on ‘fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory’ terms. As Europe considers fresh SEP guidelines to position itself to reap the benefits of the Internet of Things (IoT), the European Commission cannot afford to ignore the clear hypocrisy of companies who have completely reversed their previous support of ‘licensing for all’ in favor of ‘use-based’ licensing as they seek to profit by effectively taxing the innovation of other creative, ground-breaking companies.”

Background on the FSA

  • The FSA is an alliance of European and international companies – both large and small – across a range of sectors but united by one goal: to champion Europe as a leader in the development and rollout of the Internet of Things (IoT).
  • Our 30+ members include SMEs, global and European companies such as Volkswagen, BMW, Deutsche Telekom and Fairphone.
  • The members of the FSA contribute to the EU economy by employing more than one million people in the EU alone.
  • The FSA includes companies that spend billions of Euros annually developing technologies, participating in standards development and licensing Standard Essential Patents to others.
  • Annually, the aggregate turnover of the Alliance members is close to 2 trillion Euros, and on aggregate our members spend more than 100 Billion Euros on R&D and innovation and have more than 300,000 patents that are either granted or pending.

For further information

FSA Press Office: John Clancy +32 (0)498 953 773

FSA General Information: +32 (0)2 289 0802, [email protected]

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