Past Event

Patents and royalties: stifling or promoting innovation in ICT?

The patent system is never out of the spotlight. Do patents achieve their ultimate goal of incentivising innovation, or actually stifle it? The debate is especially heated in the ICT sector...

Date: November 25, 2015, 12:00 pm Topic: Innovation & Competition Policy

The patent system is never out of the spotlight. Do patents achieve their ultimate goal of incentivising innovation, or actually stifle it? The debate is especially heated in the ICT sector, where problems with weak patents, litigation threats and patent trolls are said to clog the system.

One particularly contentious issue is royalty stacking – the spiraling cost of bringing a new product to market if it involves multiple patented technologies or processes. The nature of ICT innovation, where various complementary technologies often need to be combined in one end product, makes royalty stacking a major hazard in the ICT sector. The danger is that patent owners, particularly those holding standard-essential patents, will charge excessive royalties. This can lead to higher prices for consumers and reduced incentives for innovation.

The problem is already on the radar for competition authorities, who intervene by, for example, requiring royalty schemes to be fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND). But just how big is the problem of royalty stacking, and how could competition policy address it? Are FRAND conditions the best way to improve the situation?

VIDEO RECORDING

Event Materials

Schedule

Nov 25, 2015

12:00-12:30

Check-in and Lunch

12:30-12:50

Keynote

Jorge Padilla, Senior Managing Director and Head of Compass Lexecon Europe

12:50-14:00

Panel discussion and audience Q&A

Chair: Reinhilde Veugelers, Senior Fellow

Benno Buehler, Economist, Chief Economist Team, European Commission, DG COMP

Esa Kaunistola, Director, EMEA IP, Standards & Interoperability and Trade Policy, Microsoft

Paolo Casini, Economist, Chief Economist Team, DG GROWTH, European Commission

Paul Belleflamme, Professor of Economics at Université catholique de Louvain

Rebekka Porath, CE Technology Policy Director, Intel

14:00

End

Speakers

Paul Belleflamme

Professor of Economics at Université catholique de Louvain

Benno Buehler

Economist, Chief Economist Team, European Commission, DG COMP

Paolo Casini

Economist, Chief Economist Team, DG GROWTH, European Commission

Esa Kaunistola

Director, EMEA IP, Standards & Interoperability and Trade Policy, Microsoft

Jorge Padilla

Senior Managing Director and Head of Compass Lexecon Europe

Rebekka Porath

CE Technology Policy Director, Intel

Reinhilde Veugelers

Senior Fellow

Location & Contact

Bruegel, Rue de la Charité 33, 1210 Brussels

Matilda Sevón

matilda.sevon@bruegel.org +32 2 227 4212

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