Open Telecom Standardization - How to work with patents - From patent prosecutors to intellectual asset strategists
Christian Arkelius, In-house European Patent Attorney, Ericsson, Sweden
The way the telecom industry works and has worked with patents traditionally is through open standards. An open standard is characterized in that it is open for anyone (i.e. any company or organization) that wants to be part of the standard and in that all technical specifications (i.e. technical advances) are made available. The open standards work well as long as the companies that contribute to the open standard are ensured a fair return for their contributions to the standard. The present convergence between voice and data communications means a market shift where new entrants are entering into competition with the traditional telecom companies, such as Ericsson. This, in turn, means that the traditional telecom market is changing. These changes in the telecom industry impact the way we, the patent attorneys, work and will work with patents in this field. Yesterday’s patent attorneys had to be legal specialists with extensive technical expertise in telecom. However, this is not sufficient for today’s and tomorrows patent attorneys. In order to be able to capitalize on telecom innovations today and in the future, I personally believe that the patent attorneys will need to shift from traditional patent prosecutors to intellectual asset strategists.
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