Standard Essential Patents: Connected cars and policy

Our news roundup covers increased access to Internet of Things (IoT) technologies in the connected vehicles sector and policy updates intended to increase options for standards stakeholders.


  • Avanci recently announced an expansion of its cellular Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) marketplace for connected vehicles.
  • Honda, Nissan, and Toyota are among the latest automakers to join the marketplace, which expands 4G coverage to over 80 brands.
  • Avanci’s licensing program for 4G connected vehicles currently includes 51 patent owners.
  • It includes a license to all the 2G and 3G SEPs, as well as 4G SEPs of current (and future) patent owners participating in the program as licensors.
  • The licensing program seeks to avoid future legal battles in the automotive sector, including disputes over who should pay license fees (an automaker or their suppliers).
  • More than 100 million connected vehicles are now covered by the program, with an additional 30-40 million connected vehicles predicted to be licensed in the next year.
  • Avanci is also planning a licensing program for 5G connected vehicles.
  • Avanci’s approach to licensing SEPs could extend beyond connected vehicles to other IoT devices.


  • The latest updates, which came into effect on 1 January 2023, cover:
    • Softer language concerning the determination of Reasonable Rates, from “Should include” to “Some optional considerations are”.
    • Language setting the ability of a SEP holder to seek or enforce a prohibitive order against an implementer1.
  • Whether the updates will be accepted by all stakeholders remains to be seen2.
  • Away from updating its Patent Policy, the IEEE Standards Association has recently argued for the importance of standards in the metaverse, pointing to a new area of standards development.


  • A call for views on an optimal intellectual property (IP) framework for the SEP ecosystem was held from 7 December 2021 to 1 March 2022.
  • 56 written submissions were received from a diverse range of sectors, the UK Government issuing a response on 5 August 2022.
  • In the absence of consensus on the need for government intervention, a further period is required for the IPO, with other UK public authorities and government departments, to consider the issues and, as appropriate, consider the merits of submitted proposals.
  • Further consultation on the need for UK Government intervention may be expected this year.

To find out more about SEPs and how IP can help you create commercial value from your innovations, feel free to contact any of our electronics and computing team.


  1. The 2015 policy prohibited a SEP holder from such an action unless an implementer fails to participate in or comply with a court order. The updated language states that such an action cannot be undertaken “against an implementer who is willing to negotiate in good faith for a license”. This update is qualified by “Seeking further information upon initial notice of infringement or choosing to litigate or arbitrate over any of the foregoing issues, does not by itself mean that a party so choosing is unwilling to negotiate in good faith.”
  2. Compare with commentary on the previous policy, IP Europe raising the question Will IEEE finally admit the errors of its 2015 patent policy changes?, the App Association arguing IEEE Must Keep its 2015 Patent Policy Updates.