EC To Intervene In Tech, Carmakers’ Patent Dispute

The European Commission plans to step into the patent dispute between tech companies and carmakers and may set up a system to check whether some patents are essential to a technology standard as claimed, according the Financial Post.

The move by the EU executive comes as Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia and German automaker Daimler battle in German courts over the level of royalties for key navigation and communications technologies and who should pay them.

The proposals are outlined in the Commission’s Intellectual Property Action Plan, seen by Reuters, which European Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager and EU digital chief Thierry Breton will present on Nov. 24.

As a first step, the Commission will engage with the automotive sector to explore the possibility of effective licensing solutions, the document said, adding that the industry’s needs are the most acute.

While the car industry currently faces the most problems between standard essential patent (SEP) holders and licensees, the issue is also relevant in the digital and electronics sectors and internet-connected devices in energy, health and smart manufacturing, it said.

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