Twenty-eight organizations form the Save Our Standards coalition to safeguard the future of innovation
October 26, 2021- Washington, DC – Today, a broad-based group of 28 innovators that includes small, medium and large businesses, associations, academics, and civil society organizations announced the launch of Save Our Standards. This new coalition is calling on decision-makers in Washington to stop abusive practices in the licensing of standard-essential patents (SEPs) and raise awareness of the threat SEP abuse poses to any industry that relies on standards like LTE and Wi-Fi.
“Digital technologies have the power to transform everything from communications and transportation to healthcare and agriculture, but only if all innovators are able to license the underlying SEPs that industries rely upon on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms,” said Morgan Reed, president of ACT | The App Association, a Save Our Standards founding member. “Until recently, the increasingly abusive licensing behavior of SEP holders in the cellular wireless standards like 3G and LTE only affected a handful of companies in a few industries. But as small business in sectors from agriculture to manufacturing adopt 5G including as part of the Internet of Things (IoT), SEP abuse will threaten development and competition across the economy, resulting in fewer choices and higher prices for consumers.”
As voluntary consensus specifications for technologies, technical standards enable innovators to develop—and consumers to enjoy—products that can reliably work together. Standards like Wi-Fi and 4G, and emerging protocols like 5G, often contain patents that are declared essential to the standard by the patent holder. Consequently the patent holder gains monopoly power over the standard. To offset that power, SEP holders promise to provide licenses on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, which is critical for promoting competition, innovation, and consumer choice.
However, some SEP holders renege on their FRAND promise and abuse their market power, hindering the ability of innovators to leverage standards, reducing competition and strangling development of new services and products. As more industries, including those that leverage IoT, become increasingly reliant on wireless technologies, the frequency and economic impact of such SEP abuse will continue to grow unless all impacted communities – policymakers, standards bodies, companies, consumers, and others – come together to clarify what is FRAND.
Save Our Standards is a multi-sector, multi-stakeholder coalition whose founding members include: ACT | The App Association, Alliance for Automotive Innovation, Amazon, American Honda Motor Company, Inc., Apple, Center for Democracy & Technology, Cisco, Colorado Technology Consultants, Computer & Communications Industry Association (CCIA), ComputerWays, Continental, Engine, Fresco Capital, Google, High Tech Inventors Alliance (HTIA), Hitachi, Intel, Juniper, MotionMobs, Nordic Semiconductor ASA, Public Knowledge, R Street, Sierra Wireless, Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), Stel, TEEM, u-blox, and vFortified.
About Save Our Standards
Save Our Standards is a broad-based coalition of innovators, small businesses, associations, academics, and consumer groups dedicated to reinforcing the FRAND licensing commitment and its important role in technical standards to enable competition and innovation that directly benefits consumers. We work to educate decision-makers and stakeholders on policies that allow all innovators to thrive through pro-competitive practices and the reinforcement of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing terms for standard-essential patents. To learn more, visit www.saveourstandards.com.