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Worldwide Efforts to Protect Global Technical Standards

  • 2226 Rayburn House Office Building (map)

The House Judiciary Committee has highlighted inequities in the cases brought by foreign competition authorities, some of which target the conduct by owners of standards essential patents (SEPs). Additionally, the House and Senate Judiciary chairmen penned a letter to the White House supporting the establishment of a working group to protect U.S. companies against abuse by foreign competition authorities. But by focusing on the procedural defects in these cases, the actual conduct these cases seek to penalize is often very concerning and would harm U.S. consumers as well.

This briefing will bring the focus back on the alleged conduct of SEP holders that a broad and growing consensus of competition authorities have found to harm innovation and consumers. When patents are adopted as part of a standard, these cases across the globe are strong evidence that SEP holders are willing to “hold up” companies who innovate on standards. This, in turn, has the downstream effect of costing consumers in the form of supracompetitive prices. If SEP holders are allowed to charge supracompetitive license fees—or engage in other negotiating conduct that excludes competitors—without scrutiny from competition bodies, large foreign SEP holders will be advantaged, while U.S. innovators will be disadvantaged. The briefing will explore these cases, as well as the ongoing case brought by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which targets the same type of conduct.

PANEL:

  • Morgan Reed, President, ACT | The App Association (Moderator)
  • Christopher Sagers, James A. Thomas Distinguished Professor of Law, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law
  • Michael Lindsay, Partner, Dorsey & Whitney LLP
  • David Bain, Chairman, Bain Markets