International Engineering Group Adopts Patent Policy In Line with Counsel from Experts Including John Marshall Law School Professor Daryl Lim

CHICAGO, Feb. 25, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- The trade group charged with managing standards over technology including wireless connectivity has adopted patent policy changes in line with counsel from a coalition of experts, including a professor from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago.

Chief intellectual property lawyers from companies such as Apple, Microsoft and Samsung recently co-sponsored a letter seeking to safeguard an upcoming patent policy review from firms that buy patents specifically to assert them against businesses that adopt particular technology standards. The outcome of the review is significant because the new rules affect what consumers will pay for everyday devices like phones and routers.

The group addressed their concerns to the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world's largest technical professional organization. The IEEE is in charge of coordinating standards over technology such as Wi-Fi and computer chips. The changes largely relate to the commitment of IEEE members to license patents to users of IEEE standards on terms that are "fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory."

Professor Daryl Lim of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago was one of four law professors in the 21-member group, which included chipmakers, original equipment manufacturers and former regulators.

The group recommended that the IEEE Board of Directors adopt policies that address limits on the ability of patent owners to seek injunctions against adopters of the relevant standard where compensation is available. This change would remove the threat of being excluded from the market.

Other policy changes include clarifying that a "reasonable" licensing rate is based on the value that the patented technology contributes to the smallest salable component of the overall product, obliging patent owners to license patents to applicants requesting licenses, and binding subsequent purchasers to the obligations.

In response to the proposed policy changes, patent owners such as Qualcomm, the world's largest maker of cellphone chips, warned that these policy changes could reduce the incentive to do research and development. Qualcomm earns more than 60 percent of its profits from licensing its patented wireless technology.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Department of Justice issued a Business Review Letter supporting the clarification of the IEEE's licensing policies. The IEEE Board of Directors then met and approved the policies recommended by the coalition.

The full text of the letter may be accessed here.

CONTACT: Christine Kraly 312-427-2737 x 171Source: The John Marshall Law School-Chicago