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Thursday, December 07, 2017

Technology Transfer Evolution

The vision statement of Technology Transfer office now includes `University Economic Engagement'.
University leaders are increasingly responding to the needs of the innovation economy—and in particular their local economies—by including innovation, entrepreneurship, and “economic engagement” programming in their strategic planning processes. As part of this response, university technology transfer offices are evolving, and must continue to evolve, toward participation in a broader scope of efforts—with patents and licensing as one emphasis, and also connecting with and engaging in other efforts that support the learning and discovery missions of the university. In evolving toward broader participation in university economic engagement, technology transfer offices will develop deeper relationships with industry and other community partners; broaden their reach to areas such as education, technology development, and entrepreneurship; and integrate more closely with other supportive administrative functions such as industry contracting. While budget and resource threats to the university research enterprise are creating increased pressure to generate revenue from licensing and innovation activities, university leaders must recognize that successful economic engagement will not be focused on short-term income, but rather on longer-term work on relationship development and ecosystem building. 

EU guidelines on SEP

EU touched on transparency of SEP.

Information on the existence, scope and relevance of SEPs is vital for fair licensing
negotiations and for allowing potential users of a standard to identify the scale of their
exposure to SEPs and necessary licensing partners. However, currently the only information
on SEPs accessible to users can be found in declaration databases maintained by SDOs which
may lack transparency. This situation makes licensing negotiations and the anticipation of
risks related to SEPs particularly difficult to navigate for start-ups and SMEs. The primary
purpose of declarations is to reassure an SDO and all third parties that the technology will be
accessible to users, typically under a commitment to license under FRAND conditions.
SDO databases may record tens of thousands of SEPs for a single standard, and this trend is
growing9. The declarations are based on a self-assessment by the patent holder, and are not
subject to scrutiny regarding the essentiality of the declared patent, which can evolve in the
course of the standard adoption procedure. In addition, stakeholders report that even in
concrete licensing negotiations licensors fail to substantiate their claims with more precise
information. This is particularly unsatisfactory in the context of IoT where new players with
little experience of SEPs licensing are continually entering the market for connectivity. The
Commission therefore believes that measures, as outlined below, are needed to improve the
information on SEPs.
The Commission believes that SDOs should provide detailed information in their databases to
support the SEP licensing framework. While SDO databases collect large amounts of
declaration data10, they often do not provide user-friendly accessibility to interested parties,
and lack essential quality features. The Commission therefore takes the view that the quality
and accessibility of the databases should be improved11. First, data should be easily accessible
through user friendly interfaces, both for patent holders, implementers and third parties. All
declared information should be searchable based on the relevant standardisation projects,
which may also require the transformation of historic data into current formats. Quality
processes should eliminate also duplications and other obvious flaws. Finally, there should be
links to patent office databases, including updates of patent status, ownership and its transfer....