Chinese antitrust laws remain an effective legal weapon against SEP abuses. Unlike in the U.S. and E.U. where antitrust laws are fading away at least in SEP/FRAND disputes, Chinese antitrust laws remain strong and active. They are effective tools against SEP abuses, in parallel with FRAND obligations. The Chinese courts and antitrust enforcement have shown their willingness to enforce antitrust laws in FRAND disputes, and recent competition rules provide additional angles to address new rising disputes.
Standard-setting organizations (“SSOs”) have long played a critical role in the advancement of some of the most important technology sectors, particularly that of the information and communication sector. When people still need different chargers for different electrical standards, a cell phone applying Wi-Fi and telecommunication standards will work all the same across the globe. With such great convenience comes grave danger of monopoly, and standard setting has been the focus of international authorities and courts for the past few decades. With China’s enormous market, the Chinese FRAND and antitrust enforcement is critical to any SEP owners’ licensing activities.
Over the years, major international antitrust authorities and respective national courts have taken different positions regarding the antitrust issue involving standards and Standard-Essential Patents (“SEPs”). Among them,...