Antitrust enforcement relating to standard essential patents (SEPs) and fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing in China has been a focal point for industry and the international legal community for the past few years. In this regard, the National Development and Reform Commission’s (NDRC) investigation into Qualcomm Corporation was typical of what a licensing company may encounter in China. This report highlights the relevant legal basis for SEP and FRAND-related antitrust enforcement in China, as well as key developments. Standard related IP policies, FRAND royalty rates, refusal to license, patent pools and injunction relief for SEPs have been hotly debated among policy makers, judges, practitioners and industry players. Some Chinese court cases have arguably been among the earliest decisions worldwide in this field, and future enforcement activities and the outcome of private antitrust lawsuits in China will likely continue to affect global trends.
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