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Nokia Calls New EU Patent Laws One-Sided

 |  April 25, 2023

Nokia has expressed concerns that the draft rules proposed by the EU to prevent disputes over patents for telecoms equipment and connected cars could potentially place the responsibility and financial burden on patent owners. This could have negative implications for Europe’s leadership in these areas.

The Finnish telecoms equipment maker has stated that their standard essential patents (SEPs) generate approximately 1.5 billion euros ($1.7 billion) in revenues and account for almost 40% of their profits. This statement was made two days prior to the European Commission presenting the draft rules.

As per the proposal reviewed by Reuters, patent owners must register their patents with the EU Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) in order to impose patent fees or initiate legal proceedings.

EUIPO is responsible for overseeing the determination of fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) royalties, with a deadline of nine months for a conclusion.

Related: Nokia Files EU Antitrust Complaint Against VoiceAge EVS

According to Collette Rawnsley, Nokia’s head of IP policy, the proposal lacks balance and fails to address a significant issue for patent owners.

“The leaked draft regulation appears one-sided with additional obligations, burdens and costs falling on SEP owners rather than implementers,” she told Reuters in an interview.

“Unfortunately, there is nothing in the proposal to address the issue of hold-out, where bad faith implementers avoid or delay taking a licence and paying for innovative technology that they are using.”

She said Europe, currently home to leaders in cellular standards, could even lose its lead under the draft rules.

“EU regulatory intervention and changes to the framework for SEP licensing risk making European forums for standardization less attractive. This risks undermining European leadership in these critical technologies,” Rawnsley said.