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Standard Essential Patent Reform in the EU

2 / 2 / 2024

Last year, the European Commission proposed reforms to streamline the standard essential patent (SEP) process in the EU. SEPs cover technologies relating to technical standards for communication like 5G and Wi-Fi. The reforms aim to enhance transparency and negotiation pathways by assigning the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) new responsibilities.

Feedback on the proposal was divided, with major SEP holders like Nokia and Ericsson expressing concerns over increased costs and uncertainties. Conversely, organizations representing patent implementers voiced support for the reforms.


National parliaments of EU member states, including Finland, offered suggestions to reduce administrative burdens and clarify regulations. Significant amendments were proposed to support micro and small and medium enterprises and review the proposal’s impact on innovation.

However, there is disagreement within European Parliament committees, with concerns raised about the necessity and efficacy of the proposal. Suggestions include involving expert bodies like the Unified Patent Court and enhancing transparency.

To sum it up, the proposal’s progression depends on a vote by the Committee on Legal Affairs, followed by the trilogue process involving the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, and the European Commission. However, with EU elections looming, reaching a consensus before March 2024 may be challenging.

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