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2022.04.15 Patent

Report: Recent Developments on Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) in Japan

1. Introduction

An increasing number of disputes have been raised worldwide over Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) due to different factors including the widespread use of standards and the complexity of technologies essential to such standards.
In the background lies the expansion of Internet of Things (IoT) in recent years which enables various “things”, such as automobiles, home electric appliances, and medical equipment, to be connected to other devices and systems over the Internet. This has brought numerous companies to confront disputes involving SEPs.
Interest in SEPs is drastically increasing among all companies in the world, impelling their countries to quickly develop guidelines related to SEPs at nation levels.

2. Recent developments in Japan

The Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) considers the recent SEP-related issues as critical challenges, and thus set up “Study Group on Licensing Environment of Standard Essential Patents” in 2021 to hold a series of discussions and conduct a study.
And now the METI has formulated “Good Faith Negotiation Guidelines for Standard Essential Patent Licenses” and published the same on March 31, 2022.
This newsletter introduces the publication of the guidelines as the recent developments in Japan.
We will continue monitoring future changes in SEP-related trends in Japan, and let you know as soon as there is some movement.
Edited by Makoto Iwata

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