Essential patent

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

An essential patent or standard-essential patent (SEP) is a patent that claims an invention that must be used to comply with a technical standard.[1] Standards organizations, therefore, often require members disclose and grant licenses to their patents and pending patent applications that cover a standard that the organization is developing.[2]

If a standards organization fails to get licenses to all patents that are essential to complying with a standard, owners of the unlicensed patents may demand or sue for royalties from companies that adopt the standard. This happened for example to the JPEG standard.[3]

Determining which patents are essential to a particular standard can be complex.[4] Standardisation organizations require licences of essential patents to be on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Shapiro, Carl, “Navigating the Patent Thicket: Cross Licenses, Patent Pools, and Standard-Setting”, forthcoming Innovation Policy and the Economy, Volume I, MIT Press, 2001
  2. ^ J. Gregory Sidak, The Meaning of FRAND, Part I: Royalties, 9 J. COMPETITION L. & ECON. 931, 949 (2013),"
  3. ^ "The JPEG patent []". Retrieved 2018-12-26.
  4. ^ Elizabeth Woyke (2011-09-21). "Identifying The Tech Leaders In LTE Wireless Patents". Forbes. Retrieved March 10, 2012.

Further reading and viewing[edit]