UK, US team on essential patents

UK, US team on essential patents

Business news |
By Nick Flaherty

The UK and US governments have signed a deal covering essential patents for the next five years.

The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed on June 3, 2024 by Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO Director Kathi Vidal and the Chief Executive Officer of the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) Adam Williams provides a framework for collaboration between the two offices on policies relating to standard essential patents (SEPs).

SEPs are patents that have been declared essential to a given technical standard such as 5G wireless and IoT. As part of the standards-setting process, patent owners may agree to license SEPs on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

“Standards touch all aspects of modern life, including video compression, wireless communication technologies, computer connection standards, automotive technology, and more,” said Under Secretary Vidal at USPTO. “This important collaboration with UKIPO will help us work together toward a fair and balanced international standard essential patent ecosystem that benefits all businesses in our two countries, including small and medium-sized enterprises and new market entrants.”

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Under the terms of the agreement, the USPTO and the UKIPO will cooperate on activities to facilitate collaboration and exchange of information on policy matters concerning SEPs to better ensure a balanced standards ecosystem.

They will also explore means to educate small and medium-sized enterprises seeking to implement or contribute to the development of technical interoperability standards on FRAND terms.

They also want to improve transparency in licensing of technical interoperability standards and bring more jurisdictions into the USPTO’s and the UKIPO’s activities concerning SEPs.;

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