Technology standards are increasingly critical in everyday life. Our laptops and cellphones and cars must be able to “talk” with smart sensors, printers, and websites, so standards have been developed to help make that process seamless. Such information and communications technology (ICT) standards are developed collaboratively by industry players at standards-developing organizations (SDOs), although standards often originate with one or several companies contributing solutions approved by SDO members.

As leading, best-of-breed technology is generally desirable, instances sometimes arise in which parts of a standard are covered by a patent. If the patent is necessarily (unavoidably) infringed whenever the standard is implemented, it is called a standard essential patent (SEP). If a party wishes to comply with the standard or a part thereof that infringes the SEP, a license or other permission may be required.

In some SDOs, a standard may be declared royalty-free so that implementers can deploy the standard...

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