Review of Horizontal Guidelines should ensure a balanced SEP licensing framework for a healthy European innovation ecosystem – five associations write to DG Competition

Brussels, May 12, 2020 – Five associations of businesses representing 6.5 million European jobs and over EUR 175 billion yearly investment into R&D, highlight the significance of competition policy in preventing abuses of standard-essential patent (SEP) licensing.

In a joint letter to the European Commission Directorate-General for Competition, a group of associations whose members generate EUR 2.2 trillion in annual revenue, have called for the review of the Guidelines on the applicability of Article 101 of the TFEU to horizontal co-operation agreements (Horizontal Guidelines) to promote a healthy European innovation ecosystem by ensuring a balanced framework for the licensing of SEPs.

The Horizontal Guidelines are crucial in preserving fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing of SEPs and preventing abuses related to SEP licensing, which dramatically undermine innovation across a variety of industries in the EU, ultimately harming European businesses and consumers, – ACT | The App Association, the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA), the Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), the European Smart Energy Solution Providers (ESMIG), and the Fair Standards Alliance (FSA) stressed in the joint letter. The letter follows a consultation period which started last year and ended 12 February 2020 for a review of the Horizontal Guidelines.


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