Standard-Essential Patents (SEP) are patents that protect technology essential to a standard.
A standard is a document that lists requirements of a specific item, material, component, system of services or describes a particular method or procedure in detail. These are developed by standard-setting organizations (SSOs).
SEPs and standards usually go hand-in-hand. An easy example to refer to is within the development and innovation of mobile phones. According to A. Jones' article in the European Competition Journal, 23500 patents were declared essential to GSM and 3G/UMTS standards developed by ETSI.
SEPs differ from patents in that any subsequent or related invention within the technology concerned must inevitably use the SEP patented invention, and so licensing is usually not an option.
Several legal cases linked to alleged infringement of SEPs by mobile companies have ushered in important decisions made by courts in regards to them, specifically Article 7 (Prohibition Decision) and Article 9 (Commitment Decision) decided by the European Commission in the Samsung and Motorola cases of 29 April 2014.
Within PatSnap we provide disclosed SEP data from major Standards Organization including, International Telecommunications Union (ITU), European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), American National Standards Institute (ANSI), European Committee for Standardization (CEN), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO). In total, we currently have 46297 standards and 192859 patents.