Standardization and intellectual property rights are key contributors to industrial innovation and industrial competitiveness. On the one side, standards ensure rapid diffusion of technologies and interoperability between products. On the other side, patents provide incentives for research and development and facilitate knowledge transfer.

Many standards comprise innovative technologies that are protected by patents. Therefore, in 2013 DG Enterprise and Industry commissioned a fact-finding study on the issue of patents and standards. This fact-finding study analyses the rules and practices developed to ensure efficient licensing of standard-related patents. It also covers barriers to efficient licensing and ideas discussed among stakeholders for dealing with these barriers.

This study has now been published and should help the European Commission in its attempts to improve the European governance of licensing arrangements forstandard essential patents (SEPs). It can also be useful in the (on-going) work of standard setting organizations on their IPR policies and rules.

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