The EU Directorate-General Enterprise and Industry recently launched a period of consultation addressed to companies of all sizes, organizations, public authorities, and citizens interested in EU standardization activities. They all are welcome to comment on intellectual property rights. The consultation on “patents and standards” for new technologies runs from Oct. 14, 2014 to Jan. 31, 2015.

Participants are required to answer a questionnaire that focusses on 8 key issues:

  1. Prospective fields of standardization for patent-protected technologies;
  2. Adaptation of rules and practices to the fast-changing economic and technological environment;
  3. Communication on patents for abuse prevention;
  4. Challenges of patents' transfers to new owners;
  5. Effective use of patent pools;
  6. Definitions of the criteria for standardization;
  7. Solutions to litigations related to patent standardization;
  8. Guarantee of royalties for patent holders.

A EU study has indicated what a strategic role patents play in achieving broad and rapid diffusion of innovative technologies, especially in consumer electronics, the automotive sector, and in smart grids alongside telecommunication. These patents seek to remove unnecessary barriers in the market and in facilitating the interoperability between products. The result of this questionnaire will therefore be very interesting.