The agreement Apple and Qualcomm announced last week may have ended direct litigation between the two companies, but it did nothing to address the growing threat to competition and innovation caused by anticompetitive abuse of standard-essential patents (SEPs) by Qualcomm and others. That is why the alliance of companies, organizations, and industries demanding regulators and lawmakers defend the concept of open and accessible standards through fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing keeps expanding.
Over the past few weeks, Daimler, Continental and other auto industry firms have filed antitrust complaints with the European Commission against Nokiafor alleged anticompetitive SEP abuse.
And today, the largest coalition yet sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC) and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) calling for continued support for long-standing bipartisan policies captured in joint Department of Justice-USPTO guidance on SEP licensing from 2013 that promote FRAND licensing and prevent SEP abuse.
The 39 signatories include representatives from the automotive, broadcast, network equipment, retail, semiconductor, software, and telecom industries. This diverse collection of stakeholders represents over $100B annually in R&D spending across a range of industries, own hundreds of thousands of patents (including many SEPs), employ more than 50 million Americans, and contribute trillions of dollars to annual United States GDP.