In an interview with Smart Energy International, Tomás Llobet shared ESMIG’s concern over the licensing practices of some standard essential patent (SEP) owners and the potential impact on the costs of smart meters, and ultimately the cost-benefit of the smart meter roll-out.
In our latest position paper, ESMIG calls for standard essential patents to be licenced on a ‘fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory’ (FRAND) basis.
”The continued refusal by many SEP owners to exhaustively license SEPs to companies at any commercially reasonable point of the supply chain will lead to higher smart meter prices. In the end, this means that the consumer will have to bear the cost increase,” the position paper states.
Specifically the paper highlights wireless communication SEP owners that refuse to license component level companies that provide the wireless connectivity modules that smart meter manufacturers buy.
Licencing SEP’s on a FRAND basis would ensure that such patent owners receive reasonable compensation for their patented innovations while preventing them from receiving remuneration for innovation that is unrelated to their own efforts and would stop them from refusing licenses to any company willing to negotiate and sign a FRAND license.