Standard Essential Patent (SEP)

A ‘standard’ is a set of technical requirements or agreed technical descriptions which cover ideas, products or services and make sure that technologies interact and work together.

A Standard Essential Patent (SEP) is a patent granted for technological invention which is essential for implementation and working of a standard.

Patents which are essential to a standard and have been adopted by a Standard Setting Organization (SSO) are known as SEPs.

When a patent is acknowledged by the SSO and designated as a SEP, manufacturers can only produce their goods in the market after first acquiring a license under the SEP.

SEPs are widely used in the telecommunications sector as it is a highly standardized industry primarily driven by the requirement for interoperability between communication devices.