What is standard essential patents’ (SEP)? The Indian Patent Office (IPO)

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May 4, 2024

What is standard essential patents’ (SEP)? The Indian Patent Office (IPO)

Why in News ?
The certain technology companies are using ‘standard essential patents’ (SEP) against the telecom manufacturing sector in India.
What are Standard Essential Patents (SEPs)?
• A standard essential patent is a patent that protects technology that is essential to implementing a standard.
• A standard is an agreed or established technical description. It is also referred to as a ‘technical standard’ or ‘technical interoperability standard’. These descriptions can cover ideas, products, services, or ways of doing things and make sure different technologies can interact and work together. For example, mobile phones, wireless connectivity, navigation systems in cars and smart meters all use technical standards.
• Once a technical standard has been agreed, manufacturers are required to make their products standard-compliant.
• In some cases, standards require the use of specific technologies protected by patents. A patent that protects technology which is essential to implementing a standard is known as a standard essential patent, or a ‘SEP’.
How are technical standards developed?
• Technical standards are usually produced by standard development organisations (SDOs), established for the purpose of creating standards, with inputs from industry and technical experts. Trade bodies, government organisations and similar entities can also create technical standards.
• Without using the methods or devices protected by technical standards and SEPs, it is difficult for a manufacturer (or “implementer” of the standard) to create standard-compliant products, such as smartphones or tablets.

Why is the IPO looking at SEPs?
• The IPO is responsible for granting of patents, including those that end up being declared essential to a technical standard.
• The IP framework plays a crucial role in enabling creativity and incentivising innovation. It creates jobs and encourages economic growth and allows the UK to maintain our position as one of the global leaders of innovation.
• Technology is constantly evolving and becoming more reliant on wireless connectivity. To facilitate this, we rely heavily on technical interoperability standards. This means that implementers have no option but to use those standards, including access to the SEPs within them.
About The Indian Patent Office (IPO):
• It is part of the office of the Controller General of Patents, Designs and Trademarks (CGPDTM) under the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India and is responsible for the grant of patents in India.
About standard development organisations (SDOs):
SDOs are organizations in which patent holders and adopters participate voluntarily, to discuss and determine, through consensus, the technical aspects of standards.
•SDOs serve as a forum where industry participants perform collaborative research and discuss the merits of alternative technologies.
•Patent holders contribute their knowledge and technology, whereas adopters, also known as implementers, give their knowledge and input from the implementation perspective.
•Standards development and intellectual property are cornerstones of the modern, digital economy and commerce. Many businesses rely on a variety of standards and intellectual property, and many products can be brought to market because of standards and continued innovation.
•As individuals, our day-to-day routine relies on 4G or 5G on our smartphones to communicate, Wi-Fi to receive and send information on our devices, and Bluetooth to connect AirPods to the various pieces of technology we own.
•Many of these products incorporate technologies based on standards that read on patented inventions. Because of these standards, our smartphones are able to connect with various types of wireless audio devices. Our smartphones, laptops, tablets, TVs, and even refrigerators and washing machines, can connect to the internet wirelessly through a Wi-Fi router.
•Our smartphones, regardless of the brand or the manufacturer, can connect to the cellular network. These standards came about through the work of Standard Development Organizations (“SDOs”), where patent owners and patent implementers collaborate as members of the SDOs to develop common standards for the different technological functions.[1] The collaborators review, discuss, and vote on which set of codes, inventions, and protocols are adopted into the standard.

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What is standard essential patents’ (SEP)? The Indian Patent Office (IPO) | Vaid ICS Institute