The Licensing Executive Society (LES) USA & Canada Welcomes the Biden-Harris Administration’s Announcement To Withdraw All Standard-Essential Patents Policy Statements and the Clarity that this Announcement Provides

Scott Williams, President of LES USA & Canada, today issued the following statement on the Department of Justice (DOJ), U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) joint announcement on standard-essential patents (SEPs):

“LES USA & Canada welcomes the restored clarity around standard-essential patents that the Biden-Harris administration’s recent announcement to withdraw all policy statements provides. The 2013 and 2019 policy statements caused confusion and were misused internationally. The decision to defer to the courts on SEP-related issues is appropriate, and will restore the traditional balance of interests that fostered robust investment in American innovation in critical technologies spurring economic growth and enhancing national security. Importantly, it makes clear that SEPs confer the same rights as any other type of patent, and will allow courts to determine the appropriate relief on a case-by-case basis.”

“LES USA & Canada represents both small and large innovative businesses, whose contribution to the economy and to innovation is crucial for American competitiveness. We therefore applaud the Administration’s decision to let the industry work together, and its recognition that industry-led solutions are always preferrable to government intervention. F/RAND disputes are commercial disputes best resolved by the parties and the courts.”

“We are pleased that the Administration – in addition to comments by many experts, current and former government leaders, and innovators – took note of LES USA & Canada’s comments,” says Brian O’Shaughnessy, LES USA & Canada SVP for public policy, “The withdrawal of all statements, and in particular the 2021 draft statement, sends a clear message that strengthens our patent system, encourages investments in innovation by all players large and small, and incentivizes technological breakthroughs. Thankfully, the administration has rejected, and will reject in the future, efforts by few entities and certain foreign actors to undermine and weaken the U.S. innovation ecosystem, to the detriment of society.”

About Scott Williams

Scott Williams, President-Elect and Chair-Elect of the Board, LES USA & Canada

Scott is Vice President of Licensing and Technology Ventures at General Electric. Previously, he served as Director, Licensing at InterDigital, a leading mobile technology R&D company. Prior to joining InterDigital, Scott served as Director with Stout Risius Ross, Inc. (formerly Invotex) where he led the transaction services practice area. He was responsible for managing the sale and licensing of clients’ intellectual property assets as well as providing consulting services related to both litigation and the valuation of intellectual property and technology businesses. Scott has more than 20 years of experience in licensing and business development as well as in consulting to technology businesses.

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