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USPTO and UK IPO Sign MoU to Increase Collaboration on Standard Essential Patents


In an effort to better cooperate in their work on Standard Essential Patents (SEPs), which protect technology essential to compliance with a standard, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and the UK Intellectual Property Office (UK IPO) recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

The MoU, signed on June 3 by UK IPO chief executive Adam Williams and Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and USPTO director Kathi Vidal, provides a framework on policies for SEPs. Both offices will collaborate on specific priorities, including engaging in outreach to stakeholders to raise awareness of issues related to SEPs.

Under the terms of the agreement, the USPTO and the UKIPO will also:

  • Cooperate on activities to facilitate collaboration and exchange of information on policy matters concerning SEPs, to better ensure a balanced standards ecosystem
  • Explore means to educate small- and medium-sized enterprises seeking to implement or contribute to the development of technical interoperability standards on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms
  • Examine ways of improving transparency in the fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory licensing of technical interoperability standards
  • Discuss means to incorporate additional jurisdictions into the USPTO’s and the UKIPO’s activities concerning SEPs, including exploring a venue for such broader discussions

“Standards touch all aspects of modern life, including video compression, wireless communication technologies, computer connection standards, automotive technology, and more,” said Under Secretary Vidal. “This important collaboration with UK IPO will help us work together toward a fair and balanced international standard essential patent ecosystem that benefits all businesses in our two countries, including small- and medium-sized enterprises and new market entrants.”

The agreement will remain in effect for five years from the date of signing. Access more in the USPTO news item.


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


[email protected]