Patents: Licensing

Department for Science, Innovation and Technology written question – answered at on 13 February 2024.

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Photo of Keir Mather Keir Mather Labour, Selby and Ainsty

To ask the Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology, what steps her Department is taking to ensure that the process for the licencing of standard essential patents is equitable for small and medium enterprises.

Photo of Saqib Bhatti Saqib Bhatti Parliamentary Under Secretary of State (Department for Science, Innovation and Technology)

The Government recognises the growing importance of Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) to the UK economy. The Government has been actively working since 2021 to better understand how the SEPs framework functions to ensure the balance between innovation and competition is maintained. This included launching a questionnaire for small and medium businesses (SMEs) in March 2023, to better understand their SEP licensing experiences. Subsequently, the IPO presented recommendations to Ministers who are currently reviewing those recommendations with a view to ensuring Government helps implementers, especially SMEs, navigate and better understand the SEPs ecosystem and Fair Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing.

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