On June 15th IPlytics joined forces with the Northwestern University of Chicago to organize a one-day expert conference discussing the importance of leadership in technology standards. The conference hosted about 90 delegates for the in-person event while over 150 people joined the virtual live streaming.

Among the speakers were leading economists and standards experts who debated the shifting geopolitical landscape, the various business models in the standards ecosystem, and the importance of global standards.

With C-level licensing executives and patent portfolio managers from both sides of the table: net-licensor (Qualcomm, Interdigital, Nokia, Ericsson, and others) and net licensee (Continental, u-blox, Wilmer Hale representing Apple and others), we had an insightful discussion about:

  • Current state of the SEP licensing negotiations and ongoing challenges
  • Business practices to reach SEP licensing agreement
  • SEPs and FRAND topics that matter to experts today
  • Pressing challenges and their proposed solution
  • Reducing legal uncertainty for net licensors and licensees
  • How geopolitical crises make global agreement harder

Kirti Gupta initiated the conference with a keynote speech about: “Why standards matter” where she elaborated on the economic impact standards have on the whole economy, and in particular on new technologies such as AI, Autonomous Driving, Virtual Reality, and IoT.

In the first panel session, moderated by Justus Baron, Northwestern University, panelist Gordon Gillerman, Director Standards, NIST, Jorge Contreras, Professor, University of Utah, Bowman Heiden, Professor, CIP & University of California Berkeley, and Alexandra Seymour, Associate Fellow, Technology and National Security Program at CNAS discussed the following:

  • How to enable a global rules-based standards ecosystem with robust governance principles
  • The role of SEP licensing, as well as the economic rationales
  • Approaches to determine the value of standards and SEPs

In session 2, Eeva Hakoranta, Chief Licensing Officer, InterDigital, Inc., Mang Zhu, Chief IP Strategy Officer, ZTE Corporation, Mathias Hellman, VP IP Portfolio, Ericsson, Kent Baker, Head of IP, u-blox, and Eric Reifschneider SVP strategy from Marconi discussed about the current challenges of global SEP licensing.

Followed by session 2 of Justus Baron, He presented his thoughts in his keynote speech about: FRAND as a norm – a take-away from efforts to produce economic guidance on the meaning of FRAND.

In session 3, FRAND determination experts discussed:

  • The comparable licensing approach
  • The top-down approach and
  • How to value SEPs

Tim Pohlmann, CEO, and founder of IPlytics moderated the session that hosted some of the most experienced specialists including: Joachim Henkel, Professor, TU München, Philip Kline, Managing Director, Insight Economics, Mike Pellegrino, President, Pellegrino Associates, and Jon Putnam, CEO, Competition Dynamics. These seasoned professionals have been involved in the SEP litigation cases in the past.

After session 3, Tim Pohlmann, in his keynote speech, presented the latest statistics and data analysis about the shifting landscape of standards leaders.

Tim demonstrated how data allows shedding light on market players and technology trends. Whereas the data on declared patents and standards contributions is complex and needs refinement to make sense of it. Tim presented approaches to unpack the information allowing companies to make data-led decisions where SEPs and standards matter.

In the final session 4, panelist debated the governance of SEP conflict resolution in a challenging geopolitical environment.

David Yurkerwich, Managing Director, Ankura moderated the lively discussion among Dave Djavaherian, President, PacTech Law, Fabian Gonell, SVP& Legal Counsel, Licensing Strategy, Qualcomm, John Kolakowski, Director, Patent Licensing, Nokia and Tim Syrett, Partner, WilmerHale.

Download the slides and session and keynote recording here

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