A Public Policy Evaluation of RAND Decisions in the U.S. Courts

November 2016

Standards-setting organizations (SSOs) typically ask holders of patents that are believed to be “essential” to the manufacture of standards-compliant products (sometimes termed standard-essential patents or “SEPs”) to commit to making licenses available to an “unlimited” number of potential standard users on terms that are “reasonable and nondiscriminatory” (RAND), also known as “fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory” (FRAND). Many commentators have lamented that such SSOs provide little or no guidance on what they mean by RAND royalties or licensing terms. Consequently, disputes over whether particular licensing terms are RAND may occur.

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