In Japan, SEP-related discussions are being promoted under the SEP Research Group initiative of relevant government agencies Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and Japan Patent Office. The SEP Research Group, which started its activities in 2013, regularly holds group meetings to discuss SEP movements among experts from industry, governmental agencies, attorneys and academics in Japan. The group is independently managed by 14 volunteer experts. On July 28th the SEP Research Group Japan hosted a seminar on How to Determine Essentiality for Standard Essential Patents.

SEPs are on the rise, the number of annual newly declared patents has almost tripled over the past five years; there were 6,457 new declared patent families in 2015 compared to 17,623 in 2020. The 5G standard alone counts over 150,000 declared patents since 2015. Similarly, litigation around SEPs has increased. One of the driving factors of recent patent litigation is the shift in connectivity standards (eg, 4G/5G, Wi-Fi) that in the past were mostly used in computers, smartphones and tablets, are now increasingly implemented in connected vehicles, smart homes, smart factories, smart energy and healthcare applications. The number of patents declared is skyrocketing. Such amounts of data are impossible for humans to analyze and not economically feasible to put in the hands of expert teams that must work for months or even years to determine the essentiality of the patents. In the SEP Research Group Japan Seminar IPlytics CEO Tim Pohlmann presented an artificial intelligence (AI) solution to Determine Essentiality for Standard Essential Patents.

SEP Research Group Japan
SEP(標準必須特許)研究会

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