Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) issues are at the heart of the most significant patent cases in Europe and the United States. We combine our Patent, Arbitration, and Antitrust teams to support you as you navigate connected technologies.
Technologies are often protected by Standard-Essential Patents (SEPs). This means that the technology has a standardised element. SEPs can be found in hi-tech, telecoms, and autonomous technologies. Today, devices are increasingly connected and so an increasing number of standards are adopted, notably by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI). The ETSI has over 800 members from 66 countries across five continents. This highlights the fact that standardization affects every type of industry.
Owners of SEPs have an obligation to grant a license to anyone who seeks to use the standard under certain terms – FRAND in Europe and RAND in the United States. They may also have to meet further formal requirements, for instance, in Europe, SEP owners have to make a FRAND license offer before enforcing their SEPs and seeking an injunction.
Given their significance to a standard, SEPs are important and valuable to innovative companies. They are also litigated more often than non-SEPs, in ever-increasing areas where connected objects are found (from the telecom industry to, more recently, the automotive industry). SEP owners rely heavily on patent licensing arrangements, and competition and FRAND-related disputes are becoming increasingly prevalent.
Whether you are a patent holder, standard user, or standard organization, we can support you across the FRAND spectrum. Our multi-disciplinary approach covers licensing, counseling, litigation and arbitration, and brings together lawyers from our patent, antitrust, and arbitration practices.
To learn more, download our interactive document, highlighting the issues and our experience working across FRAND-related matters.