Essentiality testing of patents in standards


In December 2018, a consortium of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Technical University of Munich (TUM), Dialogic Innovatie & Interactie, and several independent experts, was selected by the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission to carry out a pilot project for essentiality checks of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs).

More and more everyday devices rely on technical standards, such as many wireless standards (e.g. LTE). Many such standards include patented technology, and any party wishing to implement a standard needs to seek a license for the associated SEPs. While over 250,000 patents have already been disclosed by their owner to be potentially essentialto one or more technical standards, it is often very difficult for stakeholders to determine which patents are actually required. This pilot study explores ways to analyze essentiality of SEPs on a larger scale, thus creating more transparency in the market and facilitating a smoother licensing negotiation process for such patents. The outcome of the project is important to small and medium-sized enterprises and large companies alike.

In this study I will act as the operational project manager, as well as contribute to a case study of essentiality checking methods as currently employed by various patent pools. I will work closely together with the primary investigators, prof. dr. Rudi Bekkers (TU/e) as well as prof. dr. Joachim Henkel (TUM).