標題: 改造與具體化標準制定組織之智慧財產權政策: 促進公平、有效率的專利授權與紛爭解決
Reforming and Specifying IPR Policies of Standard-Setting Organizations: Towards Fair and Efficient Patent Licensing and Dispute Resolution
作者: 李奇芳
Li, Chi-Fang
Wang, Li-Dar
Chen, Tsai-Fang
關鍵字: 標準制定組織;智慧財產權政策;標準關鍵專利;公平合理無歧視條款;禁制令;Standard-Setting Organization;Intellectual Property Rights Policy;Standard-Essential Patents;Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory Terms;Injunctive Relief
公開日期: 2016
摘要: 許多標準制定組織透過公平、合理、無歧視的授權承諾,避免標準關鍵專利之排他權被用於阻礙他人實現標準,確保符合標準規範的產品市場之自由競爭,惟近年相關訴訟爭議不斷。本研究量化分析美國近十五年標準關鍵專利訴訟案件,發現涉入訴訟爭議的標準之技術領域主要集中於資通訊產業;超過半數訴訟爭議對標準制定組織的智慧財產權政策有所爭執;透過卡方檢定,發現智慧財產權政策及其中的公平、合理、無歧視授權條款之爭執皆與反競爭主張在統計上具有顯著關連性,顯示現行的智慧財產權政策及其公平、合理、無歧視授權承諾條款似未發揮應有之功效。此外,本研究分析美國聯邦法院、國際貿易委員會、競爭主管機關及歐盟執行委員會、歐盟法院之重要案例,歸納出目前歐美實務見解均認為公平、合理、無歧視的授權承諾並不當然禁止專利權人尋求禁制令救濟;惟各機關決定是否核發禁制令的判斷準則有異,要旨無非是須平衡標準的自由競爭、專利權人、消費者等公眾之權益;原則上,對於以符合商業慣例、善意地進行授權協商之有意願的被授權人聲請禁制令救濟之權利應受限制。另一方面,美國實務見解認為標準關鍵專利的合理權利金,應根據該專利發明本身的技術價值,而不應納入成為標準所帶來的額外價值;合理權利金的計算可以採用一般的Georgia-Pacific假設性協商法,考量專利權人已為的授權承諾與雙方各別的條件與狀況,選擇適合的Georgia-Pacific因素進行權利金調整,並無特別為公平、合理、無歧視授權承諾而設計之特殊版本的Georgia-Pacific因素。 本研究續以半開放式質性訪談,蒐集並分析業界專利授權談判專家對於目前標準關鍵專利爭議與智慧財產權政策之看法與建議,進一步確認智慧財產權政策及其公平、合理、無歧視授權承諾條款未有效發揮約束反競爭行為之原因,係因其現行規範過於模糊,解釋空間過大,使標準關鍵專利擁有者可能以行使專利權之名,行阻礙競爭者參與標準關涉的產品市場之實。綜合前述量化分析結果、案例實務見解、與業界訪談意見,本研究提出智慧財產權政策應如何改造與具體化規範的建議:清楚地定義標準關鍵專利,明確地規定揭露與宣告義務履行期限、未盡揭露與宣告義務之法律效果、重大權利變動的更新義務,具體地規範公平、合理、無歧視授權承諾對聲請禁制令救濟、合理權利金報價與計算之影響與限制,以及允許以相同標準之關鍵專利交互授權作為授權承諾的條件。最後,本研究實際分析具代表性的標準制定組織之智慧財產權政策,提出具體的修改建議,期望促進公平、有效率的標準關鍵專利授權,減少訴訟紛爭,鼓勵標準產品市場自由競爭,使技術標準能夠真正地消弭貿易障礙,協助全球化經濟發展,最終能利益廣大消費者。
Standard-setting organizations (SSOs) rely on commitments to license on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms from standard-essential patent (SEP) holders to ensure access to standards and prevent potential anti-competitive conduct that unreasonably enforces SEPs against standard implementers. However, a substantial number of SEP disputes have been raised unceasingly in recent years. This research conducts a quantitative analysis on the SEP cases in the United States from 2000 to 2014 and the results show that the SEP disputes are highly related to the FRAND terms used by the SSOs in the information and communications technology (ICT) sector. The results of chi-square tests indicate that the intellectual property rights (IPR) policies, particularly the FRAND terms therein, are statistically significantly associated with the antitrust assertions. It appears that the IPR policies and the FRAND terms might fail to function properly. Nonetheless, according to opinions to date from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, the U.S. International Trade Commission, the U.S. competition authorities, the European Commission, and the Court of Justice of the European Union, there is no per se rule that prohibits seeking injunctive relief against SEP infringement. The criteria to decide whether to grant injunctive relief are different among various forums. In principle, injunctive relief should not be granted against a standard implementer who is willing to take license and is still negotiating in good faith with the SEP holder, considering the SEP holder’s commitment to license on FRAND terms. As regards FRAND royalties of SEPs, a fundamental principle among several SEP royalty determinations in the United States is that a royalty award for an SEP shall be apportioned to the value of the patented invention, not including the value of standard. FRAND royalties of SEPs can be calculated by means of the Georgia-Pacific hypothetical negotiation; however, there is no specially modified version of Georgia-Pacific factors for FRAND-encumbered SEPs. Furthermore, through semi-structured interviews with standard-setting delegates and licensing negotiators from the ICT industry, this research finds that many existing IPR policies are too ambiguous to constrain potential anti-competitive conduct that enforces SEPs in an unreasonable way. Actually, in light of the results of the quantitative survey, the case analysis, and the stakeholder interviews, it has become urgent and imperative to improve existing vague and ambiguous IPR policies. Concrete proposals for reforming IPR policies include: defining the standard essentiality clearly and using the accurate phrase “essential patent claim;” adding specific deadlines for SEP disclosure and declaration, legal effects of failure to disclose and declare, and update obligations for material changes on the rights of SEPs; incorporating prerequisite conditions for seeking injunctive relief against SEP infringement; clarifying the FRAND obligation applicable to all offers of SEP royalties during licensing negotiations; identifying a series of steps or key factors for SEP royalty calculation under the FRAND obligation; and allowing reciprocal license to be a precondition for the commitment to license on FRAND terms. These amendments could substantially strengthen existing IPR policies, fix their ambiguities, and avoid potential disputes. Finally, this research investigates 15 representative SSOs, examining whether their IPR policies conform to the reforming proposals, by way of which the author further elaborates these proposals and provides substantial suggestions on how to amend the existing policies of the representative SSOs to avoid potential disputes. Based on the quantitative and qualitative analysis and the specific reforming proposals, this research concludes that it is imperative to reform existing IPR polices to facilitate fair and efficient SEP licensing and dispute resolution, to promote competition and economic development, and to benefit all customers around the world ultimately.
URI: http://etd.lib.nctu.edu.tw/cdrfb3/record/nctu/#GT070163812
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