European Committee for Interoperable Systems (ECIS) intervention on standards and patents at WIPO SCP 14

Thank you Mr Chairman.

I'm taking the floor today on behalf of ECIS, the European Committee for Interoperable Systems.

ECIS would like to congratulate you on your election to the chair of this very important committee. We thank you for your generosity in giving us an opportunity to speak today. I will be very brief.

ECIS is an international non-profit association of IT companies, including IBM, Nokia, Sun Microsystems, Red Hat, Opera, Oracle and others.

It focuses on IP issues concerning interoperability and competition.

It has been a WIPO observer for nearly 20 years, but has been less active in recent years.

The Committee's focus on standards and patents has captured our attention. This is an extremely important issue, and one on which WIPO could play a highly constructive role, both in pursuing concrete measures and in competence-building. The latter is especially important in the developing world, which is heavily affected by these issues but not involved in or necessarily aware of the relevant standardization processes and consequences.

Patents and standards are intended to achieve similar goals: to encourage innovation and development of new products benefiting consumers and economic development.

But the interplay between patents and standards is spawning ever greater problems. For example, failure to disclose patents essential to standards and excessive royalty demands threaten the viability of standards and the consumer welfare that can flow from them.

We believe WIPO could play a crucial role in understanding and devising solutions to these problems, and we encourage this committee seriously to pursue them.

Patents and Standards

During the course of the January 2010 WIPO SCP meetings, the Institute for Trade, Standards and Sustainable Development (ITSSD) submitted its own more substantive comments concerning the WIPO SCP Report on Patents and Standards, which actually were a supplement to comments it had previously submitted during March 2009.

See: "Supplement to ITSSD Comments Concerning the WIPO Report on Standards and Patents (SCP/13/2) Paragraph 44", accessible online at: http://www.wipo.int/scp/en/meetings/session_14/studies/itssd_supplement.pdf ;

See also: "ITSSD Comments Concerning SCP/13/2 – Standards and Patents", accessible online at: http://www.wipo.int/scp/en/meetings/session_14/studies/itssd_1.pdf ; "Executive Summary of ITSSD Comments Concerning SCP/13/2 Report on Standards and Patents", accessible online at: http://www.wipo.int/scp/en/meetings/session_14/studies/itssd_1_summary.pdf .

Does KEI have any substantive response to the ITSSD's comments???

ITSSD

Thanks for calling attention to this submission. Many of the policies that ITSSD sees in a negative light, we would see in a more positive light, such as, for example, the discussion of licenses of right, which normally work as voluntary mechanisms. The ITSSD comments on consumer protection and interoperability also seem to devalue the interests of end users of products.

James Love, Director, KEI