Standardised uncertainty

By Steve Cherny and Jason Wilcox

Courts are slowly starting to set out rules for licensing and enforcing standards-essential patents. While fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms are supposed to guarantee access to these and prevent hold-ups, some question whether such terms are effective or necessary

Standardised technology is everywhere, from Blu-Ray to cellphones, from light fixtures to wireless internet access. Because of industry standards, a consumer does not need to know whether his Blu-Ray player was manufactured by Sony, Samsung or LG in order to watch a film. Industry standards likewise allow consumers to use laptops manufactured by Lenovo to wirelessly access the Internet through routers manufactured by Cisco. This convenience has been a major boon to consumers.

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Issue 90