EC Needs To Act: IPR Workshop Lesson One
By user804106 on Dec 14, 2008
A few weeks have passed since the seminal IPR workshop at the EU. It is time to reflect a bit on what was said. Before the workshop many inside the Commission were of the opinion that the current IPR regime in Europe and globally pose few real issues for a healthy standardization regime. After the workshop, they cannot possibly be of that opinion. The views were too diverse. The eloquence and seriousness with which each position was stated shows that there are significant issues at stake. I will give some examples.
- Cecilio Madero Villarejo, the speaker from DG COMP admitted that there is a close relationship between IPR, standardization and procurement. He was not willing to share details at the moment, but we could expect some action from their side in the coming months.
- Anne Catherine Lorrain, representing the Trans Atlantic Consumer Dialogue (TACD) said that “consumers have a right to interoperability”. If this were to become law, the IPR system would have to accommodate a new actor—the consumer.
- Roger Burt, the IBM speaker advocated softening up the IP-system. “Soft IP” would come into play with the proposed Community patent to rectify the problem of “innocent” infringers.
- Tim Frain from Nokia said FRAND policies are open to bad practice and that corrective action needed.
Needless to say, these are only a few examples. Feel free to comment on my blog if you have other and better ones.
After the workshop, most attendants were left with the impression that there are some real issues to tackle. However, the Commission might be slightly encouraged by the fact that nothing at the workshop would convince anyone that this is impossible to do. Rather, the discussions were civil, productive, and showed a variety of concerns converging over the need to act in a smart, coherent fashion to support the common European objective of gaining innovative edge and maintaining competitiveness by increased standardization.