In many sectors of economic activity, companies make significant investments of financial and human resources in the development of new technologies and products. Consequently, often the best available technology that experts would like to include in a technical standard is protected by one or more patents.
This is particularly true in certain areas where interoperable and complex technologies lead standard developers to take into consideration new and upcoming technologies, which are usually protected by patents.
In order to preserve the universal approach of standards, while also respecting the rights of the patent holders, CEN and CENELEC have developed an intellectual property rights (IPR) policy under the provision of the CEN-CENELEC Guide 8 “Standardisation and intellectual property rights (IPR)”.
The purpose of the CEN-CENELEC Guide 8, which is in line with the relevant guides of ISO and IEC, is to provide practical guidance to the participants in technical bodies on how to deal with patent-related matters.
In brief, the CEN and CENELEC Patent Policy encourages the early disclosure and identification of patents that may relate to standards under development. In doing so, we aim to encourage greater efficiency in standards development while avoiding possible and potential patent-related problems.
The CEN and CENELEC Patent Policy provides for the incorporation of patented technology into new standards, on condition that the patent holder is ready to allow this either without financial compensation or at Fair, Reasonable and non-Discriminatory (FRAND) conditions to other standard users.
It should be noted that CEN and CENELEC are not involved in evaluating the relevance or essentiality of patents with regard to standards under development, interfering with licensing negotiations, or engaging in settling disputes on patents. These issues are left to the parties concerned.