Technology Standards and Patents in the Recent Case Law (26 Feb, 12:30-1:30 PM)
Asian Institute of International Financial Law
Faculty of Law
The University of Hong Kong
Technology Standards and Patents in the Recent Case Law
Dr Valerio Torti
Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, Centre for Law & Business, National University of Singapore
Friday, 26 February 2016, 12:30 -1:30 pm
Academic Conference Room, 11/F Cheng Yu Tung Tower
The University of Hong Kong
Standardization activities have become of strategic importance, especially in the information and communication technology (ICT) industries. Standards, it is well-known, have a positive influence on the welfare of the whole society, as they allow cost savings for firms, increase economic efficiency and enable interoperability between different products. At the same time, however, the processes leading to the implementation of standards may raise several legal concerns, at the intersection between IP law and competition law. On the one hand, patent owners need to be rewarded for their investments in innovation; on the other, it is essential to ensure that standardization environments maintain a desirable level of healthy competition. In this context, the award of injunctions to innovators, whose standard essential patents (SEPs) have been infringed, may have a dramatic impact on the outcome of a standard setting process. It seems thus fundamental to consider carefully the scope and the effects of this remedy so as to strike the right balance between the objectives of all the parties involved. The recent decision of the Court of Justice of the European Union, in the case Huawei v ZTE, sheds light on the conditions required to obtain injunctive relief in case of infringement of standard essential patents. It must be seen and examined in the context of several other rulings adopted in the EU, U.S. and Asia, including the EU Commission’s decisions in Samsung and Motorola, the U.S. courts’ judgements in the Apple legal battle, and the recent rulings from Japan and China judicial authorities. Which approach reflects better the need to preserve the aims of the standard setting bodies and the interests of consumers and innovators?
Dr Valerio Torti is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow from the Centre for Law & Business of the National University of Singapore. His research explores the interaction between competition law and intellectual property rights in the field of standard setting. Under the guidance of Prof. Burton Ong, he has recently published a monograph titled IPRs and Competition in Standard Setting – Objectives and Tensions (Taylor & Francis, New York 2015). During his academic career, he spent periods of research in the United States, visiting Fordham University NY and the University of Wisconsin. Before joining NUS, Valerio also worked at the University of Southampton (UK) as lecturer in EU Law, and held internship positions at the DG Competition of the European Commission and the Wisconsin Department of Justice.
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