By Bardo Schettini Gherardini & Spiro Dhapi
In the growing digitalized economy, interconnected devices in all sectors need technology standards to operate. As standards are drivers for innovation, when they embed proprietary technology, notably Standard Essential patents (“SEPs”), their widespread use may be seen as an opportunity, but also may raise concerns. Hence, an increasing number of economic players with opposing IP interests are involved in the work of the Standard Development Organizations (“SDOs”). Can SDOs develop policies balancing successfully the interests of SEPs owners, “open source” developers and standard users? What about compliance with competition law? This article touches on some key aspects of this debate and gives hints on how to foster greater SEPs transparency and predictability in the development and use of standards.