Winter 2015, Volume 3, Number 1
Antitrust Chronicle – Antitrust & IP - Old Frands, New Challenges (Part 1)
While on a certain level, antitrust and patent laws share the ethos of fostering innovation and checking anti-competitive conduct, they also differ in their methods – in that patents effectively create legally recognized monopolies and are a well-accepted exception to antitrust regulation. Standard essential patent (“SEP”) licensing (where the SEP holders agree to license their products on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) terms in lieu of adoption of their technology standards) is an issue that rests at the intersection antitrust laws and patent laws. Standard-setting in the U.S. is sectoral and market-led, while in certain countries it is state-led / influenced – which may place SEP licensing issues at the crossroads of law and international diplomacy, adding another layer of complexity.