Saturday, October 12, 2019

Brussels conference (12 Nov) on component-level SEP licensing: roster of speakers almost finalized

I have an update on the upcoming (November 12, 2019) Brussels conference on component-level standard-essential patent (SEP) licensing (for a reminder, here's the registration link). We'll have a roster of really great speakers representing a diversity of perspectives and opinions. I will soon publish the final conference program with all names, but for a preview, let me introduce the moderators and speakers I can already announce--in the order of their planned appearances:

The first session in the morning will be a discussion panel touching on the implications of component-level licensing, or companies' refusal to engage in it, from an antitrust and contract law perspective. There will be a total of four panelists, and I'll ask the questions. As of today I can announce two of the panelists: Pat Treacy is a competition lawyer and partner with Bristows, and a part-time judge on the Chancery Division of the High Court of England and Wales. Paul Lugard is a partner at BakerBotts who has represented clients from many industries (including, but not limited to, consumer electronics and telecommunications) vis-à-vis the European Commission.

Dave Djavaherian, the founder of PacTech Law, served as associate general counsel at Broadcom (I met him at the time as certain Broadcom customers faced lawsuits in Germany). Dave has a wealth of experience in licensing, litigating, and arbitrating SEP matters--and is deeply involved with standards development and policy making (for an example, as vice chair of CWA2).

Two executives from innovative European companies will share experiences in seeking component-level licenses: Nordic Semiconductor's CTO Svein-Egil Nielsen, and AirTies' co-founder and CTO Metin Taskin.

Professor Joachim Henkel teaches technology and innovation management at the Technical University of Munich, and was a visiting scholar at University College London, MIT Sloan School of Management, Harvard Business School, and Singapore Management University. Professor Henkel recently updated his paper entitled "How many patents are valid? Extent, causes, and remedies for latent patent invalidity," the first version of which I mentioned five years ago. His focus at next month's conference will be on the economics of patent licensing.

John "Jay" Jurata is an Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe partner and the leader of the firm's global antitrust practice. I've linked to some of his writings in the past, such as an article on Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim's SEP policy positions and one on the Unwired Planet global FRAND rate case that the Supreme Court of the UK will hear in about a week from today.

Eric Stasik, the founder and director of consulting firm Avvika AB, provides assistance and guidance to firms engaged in commercial patent license negotiations (both patent holders and potential licensees), particularly within the field of mobile communications. I've seen his expert reports in various SEP cases involving FRAND licensing questions, and while we've often disagreed on LinkedIn, we get along well and maintain a constructive dialog. Eric's 20+ years of SEP licensing experience include 10 years of working for Ericsson (1992-2002), initially as a senior patent engineer and later as Drector of IPR and Licensing for Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson (the corporate parent of the entire Ericsson group). He'll comment on the fallout from FTC v. Qualcomm against the background of his hands-on licensing expertise.

Evelina Kurgonaite became Executive Director of the Fair Standards Alliance earlier this year. Previously, she was Head of Policy Strategy and Legal Counsel at Samsung. She also worked for PaRR (Policy and Regulatory Report). Evelina will analyze the the FTC v. Qualcomm decision from the perspective of whether a similar outcome would be possible under EU antitrust law.

Rafał Sikorski is a professor of law (with a focus on IP as well as competition law) at Adam Mickiewicz University (Poznan, Poland) and a senior partner at SMM Legal. He's a sought-after conference speaker. He gave very well-received speeches at a Munich conference on injunctive relief earlier this year (where Judge Robart and (soon-to-be Lord) Justice Arnold also spoke). At my Brussels conference, Professor Sikorski will talk about certain SEP-related antitrust complaints.

Kent Baker, Head of IP Strategy & Licensing at u-blox (a company headquartered in Switzerland and selling positioning and wireless communication technologies around the globe), will discuss the U.S. Continental v. Avanci et al. case.

Edmund Mangold, a co-inventor of multiple patents, is patent counsel at BMW. Mr. Mangold will introduce the panel on access to injunctive relief and later join fellow panelists Maurits Dolmans, a Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton partner who represents major clients such as Google, IBM (for whom he recently secured unconditional approval of the acquisition of Red Hat) and Walt Disney in the EU (and is also admitted to practice in the United States), and Bram Nijhof, who heads Taylor Wessing's competition, EU and trade practice group in the Netherlands. I will ask the panelists a few questions about patent injunctions, not only related to SEPs but also with a view to the ongoing patent reform process in Germany.

This conference will touch on certain hot topics that some people prefer not to talk (or even not to think) about. I took this initiative because I felt it was time to organize an event with that focus. It will be an honor to welcome such top-notch speakers in a month from today. And if you'd like to come and listen, here's a link to the registration page, again.

As I've mentioned on another occasion, there will be a comparable event in the San Francisco Bay Area in mid-January, and I expect to be able to share some more information on that one next month.

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