China: Draft SEP antitrust guideline released by SAMR for public comment
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The draft guideline essentially addresses the various antitrust issues involving SEPs in line with the governing structure of the PRC Anti-Monopoly Law (AML). It also recognizes some of the key principles and factors that SAMR and the courts have adopted in previous antitrust cases involving SEPs, such as Huawei v. InterDigital and Qualcomm. The draft guideline follows the recent amendment of the Regulation for Prohibiting Abuse of IPR (the IPR Regulation), which will take effect on August 1, 2023. The IPR Regulation and the Antitrust Guidelines on Intellectual Property (the IPR Guidelines), together with the recently published Regulation for Prohibiting Monopoly Agreements and Regulation for Prohibiting Abuse of Market Dominance, provide a comprehensive framework for assessing monopoly agreements and abusive conducts in the IP field.
The introduction of the draft guideline also reflects SAMR’s heightened attention to the potential abuse of SEPs, which are a high-risk area for anti-competitive IP abuse. It also highlights SAMR’s future focus on antitrust enforcement in the information communication technology sector, where SEPs are relatively concentrated and where there have been previous enforcement cases, as well as in emerging sectors such as the automotive industry, where SEPs have become critical for the development of intelligent and connected vehicles.
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