Japan Patent Office (JPO) has joined the league of countries, which are very few in number, who have a guide related to SEP as it recently released its practical guide to Standard Essential Patent (SEP) Licensing Negotiations.
The guide would assist international and Japanese parties to arrange for equitable licensing of key technologies covered by SEPs. The Guide states that ‘it aims to enhance transparency and predictability, facilitate negotiations between rights holders and implementers, and help prevent or quickly resolve disputes concerning the licensing of standard essential patents (“SEPs”), which are the patents essential in implementing standards in the field of wireless communications and the like.’
Standard Essential Patents (SEPs), described by the Guide, are “patents essential in implementing standards in the field of wireless communications and the like,” namely essential to making “smart” devices and appliances. These cases are complicated because an industry totally foreign (until recently) with artificial intelligence (AI) may now be incorporating such technology into products without awareness of the market value that it holds for the wireless communications developer of that technology. This cross-disciplinary, cross-sector conflict of interest stimulated the JPO’s interest in helping illumine a pathway for businesses on either side to make good headway toward fair licensing agreements in Japan.
EPO had issued a similar guide last year which was hailed by many as a great document to refer to. The Japanese Guide is just an initial edition expected to change through further discussion and developments.