Time9:00AM5:00PM EST LocationGWU Law School (Jack Morton Auditorium), 805 21st Street NW, Washington, DC, 20052
Events hosted by others AND In-Person

2019 Patents in Telecoms and the Internet of Things

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ACT | The App Association is convening a one-day public workshop in Washington, DC, featuring thought leaders in the standard-essential patent (SEP) space from industry, academia, and government, which will explore the latest legal and policy developments related to SEPs, FRAND obligations, relevant venues, and the effects policymakers should take into consideration.

More than any other sector, the information and technology communications industry relies on voluntary and consensus-driven technical standards. These standards represent key wireline and wireless protocols (Ethernet, Wi-Fi, LTE, etc.) that ensure interoperability and promote competition. Moving forward, technical standards will underlie the development of an increasingly seamlessly connected world commonly referred to as the internet of things.

As these standards are developed, patented technology will often be contributed to the effort. Standard-essential patents (SEPs) are patents covering technology that have been implemented into a technical standard to the degree that an implementer of the technical standard must use the patent.

Many SEP holders, in return for their patent being accepted into a technical standard, obligate themselves to license the use of their SEP on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms. Understanding the legal and policy issues related to SEPs and related FRAND obligations – both in the United States and across other key economies – is important to any organization that creates technology or provides products and services related to technical standards, or whose employees may be participating in the development of a technical standard.

This workshop will (1) educate on key SEP and FRAND foundations and developments in policy/law; (2) feature remarks from U.S. government leadership in competition law on the same; and (3) feature panel discussions with key insights from government, academia, and industry experts on the same.


This panel will provide an overview and background on standards, patents, competition, and their interplay. Speakers include:

This panel will provide the state of play on established and developing SEP law and policy issues using lessons learned through the smartphone context. Speakers include:

This panel will discuss how SEP laws and policies are affecting, and are expected to continue affecting, verticals past the well-known smartphone and telecom context – namely, the auto industry. Speakers include:

This panel will discuss how SEP laws and policies are affecting small businesses and startups today (and in the future), exploring the unique challenges and opportunities they face.


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