Policy Established to Disseminate the Good Faith Negotiation Guidelines for Standard Essential Patent Licenses and Use them at Consultation Counter
May 16, 2022
METI published the “Good Faith Negotiation Guidelines for Standard Essential Patent Licenses” (hereinafter referred to as “the Guidelines”) on March 31, 2022, which are the norms of good faith negotiations provided by the Japanese government to be followed by SEP holders and implementers involved in SEP licensing negotiations, including Japanese patents, to realize an appropriate licensing environment through improvement of transparency and predictability of the negotiations.
METI expects that various parties related to SEP licensing negotiations, such as those in the negotiations and the judiciary, utilize the Guidelines, because METI established the Guidelines considering opinions of domestic and foreign companies, etc., industries and experts on intellectual property and competition law in Japan.
METI will disseminate the Guidelines to overseas authorities and Japanese judicial officials and put them to use at METI’s consultation counter on unfair trade practices in the Antimonopoly Act.
1. Exchanging views with overseas authorities and disseminating them to Japanese judicial officials
Overseas authorities are also considering dealing with disputes related to SEP licensing. In exchanging views with overseas authorities, METI will explain the background and content of these groundbreaking Guidelines to each of them to communicate Japan's views on good faith negotiations to the international community.
It will also work on disseminating the Guidelines to Japan's judicial officials so that various people with ties to these negotiations can utilize them.
2. Use of the Guidelines at consultation counter on unfair trade practices in the Antimonopoly Act
To ensure fair competition in the market, METI has a consultation counter on unfair trade practices in the Antimonopoly Act, also known as the “Consultation Counter on Disputes among Companies related to Unfair Trade Practices.” It is also cooperating with the Japan Fair Trade Commission to effectively collect information on and swiftly investigate and deal with cases of potentially unfair trade practices.
When METI takes on a case related to SEP licensing via the consultation counter, it will use the Guidelines as a reference to conduct consultations and review the potentiality of unfair trade practices.
METI will work to improve the SEP licensing environment through such initiatives, with the Guidelines at their core.
- Good Faith Negotiation Guidelines for Standard Essential Patent Licenses
- Consultation Counter on Disputes among Companies related to Unfair Trade Practices (in Japanese)
Division in ChargeCompetition Environment Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau
Intellectual Property Policy Office, Economic and Industrial Policy Bureau