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SSOs, SEPs and RAND licensing: patent law evolves to accommodate technology

By Joseph W. Barber

Joseph W. Barber concentrates his practice on intellectual property and has experience in patent matters involving mechanical, electrical and optical technologies. He can be reached at jwbarber@howardandhoward.com and (312) 456­3648.

In an attempt to make modern technology more accessible to consumers, doctrines in patent law are emerging that blend patent rights and basic contract law. These doctrines erode the traditional patent monopoly bestowed on inventors and innovators in exchange for their work in developing technology and then offering it to the public. The source of this erosion of the patent monopoly arises with international standard setting organizations (SSOs). More…