The Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) has prepared a discussion paper on standard essential patents (SEPs) and their availability on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. The objective is to invite views and suggestions from the public at large to develop a suitable policy framework to define the obligations of SEP holders and their licensees.
The paper aims to sensitise the stakeholders, organizations concerned and citizens towards need and importance of regulating SEPs as well as facilitating their availability at FRAND terms.
SEP is a patent that claims an invention that must be used to comply with a standard or, in other words, a patent that protects technology that is essential to comply with a standard. The owner of an SEP is under an obligation to licence its patented technology which sets a standard for the industry and such licence must be granted on FRAND terms
By igniting the deliberations on the subject, DIPP hopes to take a step forward towards achieving the national development and technological goals by protecting private intellectual property rights while securing in terest of public at large.
The rationale behind FRAND is that it benefits the inclusion of patented technology in technical standards while ensuring that the holder of SEPs should not abuse the dominant market position it gains from widespread adoption of a voluntary technical standard.
“With an increasing pervasiveness of standardised technology in virtually all sectors, and particularly telecommunications, in India and worldwide, issues associated with SEPs are increasingly agitated. This discussion paper deliberates upon such issues, particularly in telecom sector and seeks views and comments of all the stakeholders on all such issues,” the 28-page document said.