Brussels, 12 July, 2021 – The Fair Standards Alliance (FSA) welcomes Section 5 (d) of President Biden’s Executive Order on the subject of Standard Essential Patents (https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/presidential-actions/2021/07/09/executive-order-on-promoting-competition-in-the-american-economy/). The FSA believes this is a positive step to ensure that SEPs are licensed on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms.
The Executive Order encourages the US Attorney General and the US Secretary of Commerce to review their position on the intersection of intellectual property and antitrust laws in the context of SEPs that are subject to voluntary FRAND commitments.
In order to promote competition, lower prices, and a vibrant and innovative telecommunications ecosystem, the Chair of the FCC is also encouraged to consider providing support for the continued development and adoption of 5G Open Radio Access Network protocols and software, continuing to attend meetings of voluntary and consensus-based standards development organizations, so as to promote or encourage a fair and representative standard-setting process, and undertaking any other measures that might promote increased openness, innovation, and competition in the markets for 5G equipment.
“Any measures which ensure that SEP holders meet their contractual promises and comply with competition law is welcome; the refusal of some SEP holders to grant SEP licenses to companies in the supply chain is discriminatory and unfair. Transparency in the standards setting process, and in the licensing terms sought by SEP holders, is also key to encouraging innovation, investment and fair competition. We look forward to providing input and engaging constructively with the US administration to support a fairer and more transparent licensing environment.” said Robert Pocknell, Chair of the FSA.
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