Chris Dubuc is the Founder and President of Harfang IP. He previously founded Longhorn IP, an emerging leader in the world of patent licensing. Prior to Longhorn IP, Mr. Dubuc was Senior Vice President at Acacia Research Group. Prior to that, Mr. Dubuc was Vice President of Licensing Technologies at WiLAN. Previously, Mr. Dubuc held a range of positions in engineering, sales and product management with several companies developing and marketing products in the area of wireless technologies, including Nortel Networks, GE Fanuc and the Communications Research Center. Mr. Dubuc holds several patents related to wireless technology and has published multiple papers and articles in the area of wireless technology. Mr. Dubuc is a Senior Member of the IEEE and has been recognized as one of the World’s 300 Leading IP Strategist by Intellectual Asset Management magazine (IAM). Mr. Dubuc holds a M.Eng. in Systems and Computer Engineering from Carleton University and an MBA from the University of Ottawa.
For more information or to contact Mr. Dubuc, please visit his Firm Profile Page.
In Part II of this series, we considered the language of a specific licensing commitment made to European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) and the prevailing law relating thereto. In this Part III, we consider the 2021 Draft Policy Statement with a particular view to highlighting its inconsistencies with the ETSI framework and the inapplicability of the hold-up narrative to the situation involving an individual United States patent. Despite its purported purpose of providing the agencies’ views on “remedies for the infringement of standards-essential patents (or SEPs) that are subject to a RAND and/or F/RAND licensing commitment”, the 2021 Draft Policy Statement does not take a clear position on this issue, instead merely stating the following (some might say “the obvious”):
In Part I of this series of articles, we provided an overview of the 2013 and 2019 policy statements that preceded the 2021 Draft Policy Statement. In this Part II, we consider the language of a specific licensing commitment made to European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), and various legal pronouncements that have been made in relation thereto.
Much like a biological ecosystem, the development, commercialization, and licensing of standardized technologies involves a delicate balance among many diverse and competing participants. The 2021 Draft Policy Statement on Remedies for Standards-Essential Patents Subject to Voluntary F/RAND Commitments (hereinafter “the 2021 Draft Policy Statement”), however, appears to be primarily concerned with an issue faced exclusively by implementers when dealing with owners of larger patent portfolios, but without explicitly saying so. This observation is based on the 2021 Draft Policy Statement’s reference to the vague and ill-defined notion of patent “hold-up”.
This is Part II of a two-part article discussing FRAND (fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory) licensing developments taking place in the United States in 2021. Read Part I here. After a slow summer on the FRAND licensing front, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit’s ruling in the matter of HTC v. Ericsson came in the dog days of August. As we wrote about here, the August 31 ruling dealt with, amongst other things, an appeal challenging the district court’s instructions to the jury regarding whether or not the license terms offered by Ericsson were FRAND and, more specifically, with respect to the issue of apportionment. Beyond finding that the failure to give instructions on an undisputed issue did not impair HTC’s ability to present its claims, the majority found that HTC’s proposed instructions “were not ‘substantially correct’ statements of law”.