New Op-Ed from C4IP Board: Europe Stands at a Crossroads on Technology Policy

Yesterday, the C4IP Board published an opinion piece in Euractiv highlighting how the European Commission’s recent proposal for standard-essential patents (SEPs) has empowered China to unilaterally set its own licensing terms, jeopardizing a longstanding model of international cooperation and threatening Europe’s own leadership in wireless technology.

In the piece, the board explains how SEPs — which protect widespread technologies that must be standardized in order to function properly, such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and 5G — have long been made available under “fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory” licenses negotiated between companies. Yet the European Commission’s new proposal would authorize European bureaucrats to decide the terms of licenses, overturning a system that is already cooperative and efficient. Taking cues from this, the board notes, China has recently asserted its own power to unilaterally set licensing rates — an egregious action that sets the stage for future Chinese dominance of wireless technologies.

As the board argues, if European regulators proceed with this proposal, they are setting a highly dangerous precedent that could result in the continent losing its status as the leader in wireless technologies.

“European innovators already face a dire threat from China. The last thing they need is for the European Parliament to undercut them too.”

Read the full op-ed here:

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