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Friday, April 01, 2016

Standard Essential Patents and Monopoly position.

When a patented technology is incorporated in a standard, adoption of the standard eliminates alternative to the patented technology. Ericsson has taken Indian assemblers of smart phones to court for their refusal to pay royalty for SEP (Standard Essential Patents). Phone manufacturers complained of unreasonable demands by the SEP owner both on royalty rate and base unit for enforcing royalty. FRAND terms for SEP are under debate in USA and Europe. IEEE and manufacturers have taken different positions on this.

China is said to have reduced the royalty rates on SEP by bringing in their Competitive commission. Indian manufacturers also approached Competitive Commission of India and as expected SEP owners did not like it and questioned CCI role in patent infringement.

Now Delhi High Court ruled that  that the Competition Commission of India (CCI) can continue its investigation into Ericsson’s alleged anti competitive practices. 
“In my view, there is no irreconcilable repugnancy or conflict between the Competition Act and the Patents Act. And, in absence of any irreconcilable conflict between the two legislations, the jurisdiction of CCI to entertain complaints for abuse of dominance in respect of Patent rights cannot be ousted.”
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