What is the purpose of a standard?
Standards “enable technology that is safe, universal, and interoperable. Standards define the requirements that make it possible for mobile phones sold in different countries to communicate across the world, for bank cards issued in one country to be recognized at ATMs in another, and for cars to run on fuel purchased from any gas station. Standards also help manage risk, security, safety, privacy, and quality in the development of new innovations. In short, good standards are good for business, good for consumers, and good for society.” US-Gov-National-Standards-Strategy-2023.pdf (whitehouse.gov)
“The focus of standards development should be the benefit of humanity.” Andrew Myles (quoting from the IEEE’s mission statement).
The debate around FRAND licensing seems to have lost track of these fundamental principles. The purpose of good standards and standardization is not to enhance the returns of SEP developers, SEP holders or even SEP implementers, but rather to enable consumers to access safe, beneficial and interoperable products and technology.
So, welcome to my blog about standards, standardization and standard essential patents. This blog covers not only the usual things we lawyers talk about when discussing standards (the latest court rulings, should injunctions be issued for SEPs, etc.) but also addresses the fundamental purposes and goals of standardization and how the SEP/FRAND licensing framework can be used to support, or undermine, those goals.
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