All You Need to Know About Standard Essential Patents and FRAND

Heated Discussions Over EU Commission's FRAND Regulation Continue

May 03rd, 2023 ‧ 3 min read

Last week on April 26, 2023, the EU Commission published its proposal for a European FRAND regulation for standard-essential patent (SEP) licensing and litigation. However, the draft regulation was leaked in late March, sparking much controversy among SEP holders and implementors. If you are interested, you can find the 78-page regulation proposal here.

Whether you’re new to the world of standard-essential patents or have some dabbling with SEPs, this blog post is a portal to all our SEP-related content that provides you with all you need to know about SEPS and FRAND.

Table of contents

The Basics & The Over-declaration Phenomenon

What’s the difference between a standard-essential patent and a regular patent? What are FRAND terms?

With the draft regulation, the EU Commission hopes to bring more transparency and balance to SEP licensing activities and become a global benchmark for FRAND licensing. You can read more about their goals and objectives in their press release.

Get a basic understanding of how SEPs work and the challenges faced in the SEP world:

Despite the Commission’s good intentions, the measures proposed in the draft came under great scrutiny. The main aspects that came under fire were how SEPs are deemed “essential” and how FRAND terms are determined. 

Did you know some standard-essential patents may not be essential to a specific technology? Read more about the over-declaration:

Calculating Royalty Rates and Negotiating FRAND Terms in SEP Licensing

According to the press release, the EU Commission hopes that the SEP regulations can “…help companies, especially small and medium-sized companies (SMEs), make the most of their inventions, leverage new technologies and contribute to the EU’s competitiveness and technological sovereignty.”

This means that many of these SMEs are SEP implementers, i.e., potential SEP licensees. Learn more about negotiating a FRAND deal with this detailed article:

Analyzing the Global SEP Landscape

So, how can we get an overview of global SEPs, especially those for 5G technology?

We do landscaping. To do that, we analyze which companies own or develop the most SEPs to deduce who may have more negotiating power.

Here are a few examples of landscaping analysis:

Analyzing China’s SEP position:

China’s 5G SEP Power — Looking Past the Smoke

SEP Litigation Cases

We also analyzed patent disputes that involve SEPs. For example, our three-part article followed the Ericsson vs. Apple dispute throughout 2022.

If you are only interested in the SEP analysis, check out the Part 2 article.

SEP Portfolios

Or, you can read more about analyzing a company’s SEP portfolio to unearth insights into a company’s technology focus or licensing strategy. 

Read more about LG’s 5G SEPs and how a company’s strength and position cannot be directly reflected in the number of SEPs it develops, declares, or owns. 


We will undoubtedly hear more from the industry regarding the EU Commission’s SEP regulation draft. In the meantime, bookmark this page if you need to re-read anything about standard-essential patents or FRAND.

If you want to try out the app we use to analyze the SEP landscape or portfolio, you can read more here.


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