U.S. FTC to hold workshop on hold-up concerns in standard-setting

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) is engaged in a project to examine issues raised by patent hold-up as to technologies incorporated in collaboratively developed standards. Hold-up can undermine the competitive process of selecting technologies and threaten the integrity of standard-setting activities and ultimately harm consumers.

In its project the FTC examines ways to prevent hold-up by means of patent disclosure rules, licensing commitments and ex-ante licensing negotiations. These issues will be considered from practical and legal perspectives and under antitrust, contract, patent and consumer protection laws. The FTC will also consider whether certain practices of patent holders are deceptive or unfair.

The FTC will hold a workshop on 21 June 2011 and invites written comments on the issues related to the workshop as part of its policy project by 8 July 2011. The Agenda and a Federal Register Notice are available for further details on the project and the workshop on the FTC website. [Juha Vesala]