Standard Development Organizations (SDOs) exist as a mechanism for industry innovators to work together to collectively identify and select the best and most promising innovations that will become the foundation for the entire industry to build upon for years to come. Those contributing patented technologies to the development of a standard are asked to provide a FRAND (which stands for Fair, Reasonable and Non-Discriminatory) assurance, in essence committing to providing access to patents that are or may become essential to the implementation of the standard.
“A technology makes it into a standard because it is valuable to solve a specific problem,” explained Matteo Sabattini, Director of IP Policy for Ericsson.
Innovators invest large sums creating technologies that are ultimately adopted as standards; technology implementers build upon those standards. Not surprisingly, innovators want to be paid. Equally unsurprising, implementers want to pay less than innovators seek to charge. Both are necessary to have a complete and thriving ecosystem. While it is important not to minimize the contribution of technology implementers who roll out across the final mile to consumers, it is the likes of innovators that have paved the way for the innovation from the ground up.