IP (Intellectual Property) policy for SEP (Standard Essential Patents)
Japan Patent Office’s “Guide to Licensing Negotiations involving Standard Essential Patents” released in June 2018 has not created issues after its release, neither the latest 2022 update on it. However, the guidance published in 2020 and 2022 by METI has created some confusion among SEP licensors and licensees. It seems that Japan would like to create a detail process to conduct SEP licensing, that might be quite challenging to create a balance between licensors and licensees. For licensors the main problem is so called “hold out”, where the licensees try to avoid, or delay, the payment as much, or as long, as possible. For licensees the main claim is too high royalty demands. EBC will monitor the impact and fairness of these the newly established principles and processes, and further updates on them, in regard to the European telecommunication industry.
- Japan's regulators should follow the international licensing practices and legal doctrines without trying to re-invent the wheel. To help to understand the international situation better, Japan should continue the communication with European Commission, European Patent Office, and other European organisations to harmonise the regulations, or at least not to divert from international practices, related to Standard Essential Patent licensing. It would be beneficial to future innovativeness (including 6G R&D) of Japan to encourage a healthy and balanced licensing practices of intellectual properties. Overregulation is not good, but one should let the existing legal system to resolve any disputes.