Technical standards like LTE and Wi-Fi provide a common base for digital products to work together. Ensuring that the patented technology underlying these standards – known as Standard-Essential Patents (SEPs) – are licensed on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms is critical to promote competition and consumer choice. Unfortunately, this system and our standards are under threat as a growing number of SEPs are held by patent trolls, or non-practicing entities, who leverage them to extract monopoly payments from creators.
As demand for Wi-Fi and 5G compatible devices rises, so too does the impact of such abuse. This panel discusses the critical role played by standards, the impact this kind of licensing abuse has on the entrepreneurial ecosystem and what policy changes need to be made to safeguard the future of innovation.