The European Commission announced their establishment of a 15-person expert group to consider the value and licensing practices for standard essential patents. ACT | The App Association President Morgan Reed offered the following statement in support of the creation of the expert group.

“We welcome the creation of a European Commission (EC) Expert Group to examine SEP licensing as a next step towards creating a predictable and fair framework for SEP licensing that will contribute to the development of the internet of things. This call for experts follows the European Commission’s November 2017 Communication “Setting out the European Approach to Standard Essential Patents” to which ACT | The App Association and its thousands of small business digital economy innovator members located across Europe and around the world contributed.

“By looking at the issue of SEP licensing from the perspective of innovators from all along the value chain, and not just from the perspective of those that have patents on the enabling technologies needed to unlock the full potential of the internet of things, the Group can ensure Europe’s leading role in this context. We hope the 15-person Expert Group can achieve consensus on how best to license technologies deemed essential to innovation and we look forward to seeing how this Group can contribute to a SEP licensing environment that is smooth, predictable, and advances innovation.

“In parallel to the Commission’s Expert Group, ACT | The App Association and the Fair Standards Alliance (FSA) are co-hosting a workshop with the help of the standardization organisation CEN CENELEC and its German standards body DIN. The workshop includes a wide range of stakeholders, including participants from both sides of the SEP licensing debate – licensees and licensors. It will publish a code of conduct towards the end of this year with the aim of making the SEP licensing process smoother and less contentious.”