In recent years China has become a major jurisdiction for standard essential patent (“SEP”) licensing and litigation. A variety of key issues emerge in the process. Overall, certain consensus seems to have been formed between Chinese SEP jurisprudence and its counterparts in other major jurisdictions, such as the cautiously conditioned availability of injunctive relief, a more balanced approach of FRAND interpretation in principle, and the rough compliance with the HW v. ZTE framework in conducting a procedural FRAND scrutiny of the licensing process. On the other hand, challenges ensue in several aspects, including a lack of consensus in optimal FRAND methodologies, the role of antitrust in resolution of FRAND-related matters, how to harmonize global enforcement and deal with the rapidly escalating jurisdictional competition. In addition, new questions keep emerging with the 5G / Internet of Things (“IoT”) era dawning on us. Our success or failure in addressing these challenging discrepancies, will significantly impact the future development of global ICT / IoT industries.
In 2021, the Asia IP and Technology Law Project will host a four-part webinar series, which aims to facilitate in-depth conversations to address the underlying pervasive issues fueling these key challenges. Hopefully, these conversations can also serve as part of the basis to building more consensus and cooperation into the landscape of international SEP jurisprudence. The series will be moderated by Dr. Yuan Hao, BCLT.