Litigation of Standards-Essential Patents in Europe: A Comparative Analysis

March 2017

The article “Litigation of Standard Essential Patents in Europe: A Comparative Analysis” is the first quantitative assessment of SEP assertions by NPEs in Europe. By matching case-level data from two major patent litigation jurisdictions, Germany (2000-2008) and the UK (2000-2013), Contreras et al. have collected all NPE assertions of SEPs over these two selected jurisdictions and timeframes. In terms of numerical frequency, Germany far surpasses the UK (422 versus 36 SEP assertions initiated by NPEs). However, it is significant that the vast majority of German SEP assertions were initiated by a single NPE, Sisvel. Furthermore, it is shown that that the large majority of SEP assertions in Europe during the periods studied have been by Europe-based NPEs, and not by US entities. Finally, the authors examine whether, based on its high number of SEP assertions, Germany may present particular advantages to litigants in terms of the assertion of SEPs, as opposed to other patents. The results of the paper indicate not. On a percentage basis, German SEP assertions represented approximately 8% of all German patent cases, and UK SEP assertions represented approximately 6% of all UK patent cases.

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