Outside Publication

Open Source Software and Standards Development: Competition Law Implications, SSRN

December 07, 2020

APG partner Richard Taffet and APG Associate Michael Zymler authored an article entitled “Open Source Software and Standards Development: Competition Law Implications,” on SSRN.

Technical standards developed by standards development organizations (“SDOs”) increasingly involve software-based solutions that implicate open source software (“OSS”). SDOs generally operate pursuant to policies and procedures based on principles of consensus, due process, balance, and openness, and subject to consensus-defined intellectual property rights (“IPR”) policies that contemplate inclusion of patented solutions in standards. Consequently, SDO policies help incentivise IPR owners to contribute their new and innovative technologies to standards by providing owners of Standard Essential Patents (“SEPs”) the opportunity to offer licenses for their IPR on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (“FRAND”) terms.

Open source projects are often pursued in consortia or similar forums, which typically do not fully observe such procedural principles, and do not contemplate FRAND patent licensing, or pat

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