Washington — The Computer & Communications Industry Association and five other trade associations submitted a white paper to the Department of Justice Wednesday in response to recent comments on antitrust law and standard setting. The goal was to offer Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Makan Delrahim and other DOJ staffers our insight and experiences confirming the importance and appropriate focus of antitrust officials over the years in recognizing the competition problems that can result when a company or other entity exploits standard essential patents for their own gain.

The paper also expands on a January letter signed by 58 companies, academics and SMEs to Delrahim and a May letter from 77 former government enforcement officials and professors of law or economics that expressed concern over AAG Delrahim’s recent speech relating to this patent related issue.  The speech did not seem to sufficiently recognize the potential for anti-competitive harm resulting from the abuse of standard essential patents and the legal precedent in the US on this issue that is so key to competition and innovation.

CCIA has advocated for competition and balanced intellectual property policy for 45 years. The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“Patent hold up is a core competition law problem that can seriously harm the economy and compromise innovation. The potential for abuse of these sort of standard essential patents has long been recognized by antitrust experts. Those overseeing competition policy need to be fully aware of the chain of innovation and ensure they value and don’t hamper the consumer benefits contributed by other innovators. For the US to stay an innovation leader, antitrust policy must encourage – not threaten – diversity among standard setting organizations so that they can respond to diverse interests.”

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