Evidence of Essentiality: Not Everyone’s🗼Signal Strength 


📶Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) 📃 are the patents that disclose technologies necessary for implementation of any standard such as 4G/5G. Wi-Fi etc. 


📶For 5G itself more than 70, 000 patents are declared as essential so far. These patents are filed based on massive R&D done by the declaring companies followed by submissions at 3GPP. 


📶 Every declared SEP is NOT an Actual SEP, therefore it is important to identify evidence of essentiality for these declared SEPs for fair licensing negotiations.


📶Identifying Actual SEPs becomes a challenging task because:

 1️⃣ Multifaceted Specifications📜: 

Technical standards typically involve a broad range of specifications, spanning various technologies, functions, and performance criteria. Aligning patent claims with these diverse specifications is complex and time-intensive.

2️⃣ Interdisciplinary Complexity:

Standards often span across different fields like telecommunications, electronics, software, and networking. Grasping the nuances of each discipline and their interconnections within the standard is vital for precisely mapping patent claims to the relevant standard specifications.

3️⃣ Intra-standard📜Dependencies: Standards may comprise interdependent components and functionalities, where changes to one aspect can impact others. Identifying and addressing these intra-standard dependencies when mapping patent claims requires a comprehensive understanding of the standard’s architecture and concepts.

4️⃣ Technical Jargons and Terminology: Standards documents 📜often use specialized technical terminology and jargons. Also, there is ocean of acronyms in the standard specification and many times these acronyms are complex concepts in itself. 

5️⃣ Global 🌐 Diversity: Standards may be developed and adopted by international bodies, leading to variations in implementation across different regions and jurisdictions. Assessing the applicability of patent claims to these diverse implementations adds complexity to claim charting efforts.

6️⃣ Other KEY Challenges:

 📶Mandatory and optional features: Sometimes a patent might only read on optional features and hence not actually an essential patent even though its mapping to the standards.

 📶Priority Date 📅 : Many times due to evolutionary nature of standards some features might be inherited from previous versions and hence the patent might end up mapping to a prior art.

 📶Many subject matter experts (SME) are not well versed with Patents 📃 , they are technology experts who don’t read patents day in day out and hence navigating through claim languages, file history, claim construction becomes a task for these SMEs.


Watch out this space on how to navigate the SEP claim charting

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