Licensing of standard essential patents in a developing economy: an Indian perspective
Manveen Singh*Associate Professor, Associate Dean and Director of 3-Year Programmes at Jindal Global Law School (JGLS) of O.P. Jindal Global University, India; Deputy Director of the Jindal Initiative on Research in IP and Competition (JIRICO)
The ripple effect created by standardization has transcended beyond the developed world and engulfed developing economies. While a major chunk of the discussion involving standards-setting and the licensing of standard essential patents (SEPs) has centred around the United States (US) and the European Union (EU), with the rapid emergence of Chinese patent holders and a steady increase in SEP-related jurisprudence in India, the innovation landscape has witnessed a significant change in the past five years. Amidst such market realities, it is neither possible nor logical to extend the regulatory framework devised in the US and EU to the rest of the world. In the Indian context, jurisprudence on FRAND disputes is still at a nascent stage, despite there being a long-standing history of standards development in the country.
With the global roll-out of 5G beckoning to transform human lives in a never-before-seen manner, having a comprehensive set of guidelines for the licensing of SEPs is the need of the hour. The most crucial role in that regard is likely to be played by the IPR policies of standard setting organizations (SSOs), which have quite often proved to be the decisive factor in facilitating the interaction between innovators and implementers, vis-à-vis licensing of SEPs. Against this background, the present article focuses on the state of standardization in India and the possible role SSOs might play in stimulating an innovation culture in the country.
* Dr Manveen Singh can be reached on email@example.com
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