Standard Essential Patents (SEP): European Commission's proposal for a new Regulation

The aim is a more effective and transparent intellectual property rights framework 4 May 2023

The European Commission has presented a proposal for new regulations on Standard Essential Patents (SEP)compulsory granting of patents in crisis situations, and revised legislation on protective certificates with the aim of creating an intellectual property rights framework to help companies in making the most of their inventions and new technologies in a more effective and transparent way. This also contributes to the European Union's competitiveness and technological sovereignty.

The proposal will complement the Unitary Patent system, which will be operational from June 1, 2023.

Standard Essential Patents (SEP) are patents that have the special feature of protecting specific aspects of a technical standard and being essential to the application of the technical standard established by a regulatory body.

It follows that if the SEP is indeed essential to the application of the standard, those who need it must seek and obtain a license for its use on “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory” (FRAND) terms.

The proposed framework aims to create a balanced system, ensuring that both EU SEP holders and implementers innovate in the European Union and that end users benefit from the latest product standards at fair and reasonable prices. In addition, the draft SEP Regulation proposes the creation of a "center of expertise" at EUIPO that would manage the databases, SEP registry, and procedures for SEP essentiality check and FRAND determination, as well as provide training, support, and general advice on SEPs to SMEs.

Read the European Commission's proposal on SEPs Regulation


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