The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a part of the United Nations, has announced plans for a roundtable in Geneva on October 10, 2012. The purpose of the gathering is to address the surge of patent litigation and lack of adherence to standards bodies’ patent policies. These actions are leading to more instances of markets being blocked and high-profile cases of goods being impounded at docks. The roundtable discussion will include standards organizations, key industry players, and government officials.
According to Dr. Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary General, “…patents are meant to encourage innovation, not stifle it. Acknowledging patent holders and user requirements, as well as market needs, is a balancing act.” A key issue to be addressed is the relevance of reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) patent policies, especially with respect to the question of what is “reasonable?” Several parties who commented on the planned roundtable also mention the need to maintain a balance between the needs of implementors of standard essential patents (SEP) and the needs of inventors so they will continue to contribute their inventions to standards.
Do you think a roundtable will help the industry get control over the growing patent litigation problem? Could we at least see a reduction in the cases of products being banned or held up from markets?