Brussels, 1 September 2021 – As an industry organization representing over 49 companies across different Internet of Things (IoT) industry sectors, the Fair Standards Alliance (FSA) welcomes this opportunity to offer comments to the European Commission’s Preliminary Report Sector Inquiry into Consumer Internet of Things. We hope our comments will help the Commission better understand the consumer IoT sector, its competitive landscape, developing trends and potential competition issues particularly as these relate to the topic of licensing Standard Essential Patents (SEPs).
As our comments will lay bare, the consumer IoT sector faces a number of challenges due to inefficiencies and anticompetitive practices in the licensing of SEPs. These challenges include:
- Refusals to offer licenses on FRAND terms to willing licensees;
- Royalty demands that exceed a fair and reasonable amount; and,
- Secrecy obligations and a lack of transparency in licensing negotiations exacerbating disputes between licensors and licensees.
Together these issues are hindering competition in the internal market, and eventually could delay the uptake of IoT technology to the detriment of European consumers and the promotion of the twin Green and Digital transitions. The FSA therefore welcomes the Commission’s engagement and encourages the Commission to investigate these matters further.
See full statement here.