What are Standard Essential Patents?

An essential patent or standard-essential patent (SEP) is a patent that claims an invention that must be used to comply with a technical standard. Standards organizations, therefore, often require members disclose and grant licenses to their patents and pending patent applications that cover a standard that the organization is developing.

US court defined SEP as “A given patent is ‘essential’ to a standard if the use of the standard requires infringement of the patent, even if acceptable alternatives of that patent could have been written into the standard”. A patent is also essential “if the patent only reads onto an optional portion of the standard”.

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