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SEPs questionnaire for SME, small-cap and mid-cap businesses

The IPO has published a summary of responses to the questionnaire for SME, small-cap and mid-cap businesses on Standard Essential Patents.

The IPO launched a questionnaire on 21st March 2023 that concluded on 24th April 2023. The questionnaire sought views from SME, small-cap and mid-cap businesses on the current Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) framework.

We have analysed responses to the questionnaire and have produced a summary of responses.

The responses will help the Government ensure that the ecosystem around SEPs is functioning effectively. We want it to strike the right balance for entities involved.

It is important that we continue to hear from all businesses involved with the development or production of interoperable products or services that use technical standards. This will inform us on questions such as:

  • Do you have sufficient information on how your innovation relates to SEPs?

  • Is the current system fair for everyone involved in the licensing and implementing of SEPs, or is change needed?

  • If you use a licence, were you offered it on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms?

  • Do you have enough information on the pricing of SEPs that you licence or may licence in future?

  • What your experience has been in respect of licensing disagreements and how were they resolved?

The Government believes that technical standards and SEPs will be of growing importance to the UK economy and the government’s ambition for the UK as a science and technology superpower and innovation hub. It is important that the frameworks around SEPs work in a balanced and fair way, supporting the needs of innovators and consumers.

Technologies are evolving and becoming more widespread in all our daily activities. More businesses are becoming likely to interact with Standard Essential Patents when they wish to innovate a product requiring the use of technical standards.

We are grateful to all those who took the time to complete our questionnaire. This has helped enable us to hear a broad range of views on the SEPs ecosystem and some of the challenges faced by industry.

The Government will consider the responses as part of its policy development and present its overall findings to Ministers later this year. Any options for intervention will be subject to public consultation.

The Government wants to ensure all those within the SEPs ecosystem have an ongoing opportunity to submit views. Anyone wishing to contact the IPO concerning these matters, please continue to use the dedicated mailbox

To find out more, read the SEPs guidance page and watch our video:

Published 21 March 2023
Last updated 5 July 2023 + show all updates
  1. SEPs questionnaire for SME, small-cap and mid-cap businesses: Summary of Responses added.

  2. First published.