"Regulators are particularly interested in such situations,
because once a standard has become widely adopted, the owner of
such a patent acquires monopoly power over the market for those
products. It can charge as much as it wants, or only grant licenses
to some parties, or charge some parties more than others.
"Unfortunately, there's nothing that can be done if a company
innocently realizes that it happens to own a patent that has
already been implemented by hundreds of vendors. It can start
demanding royalties, or sell the patent to someone else whose
business model is to demand first, and sue later.
"But there is something that can be done if the patent owner is
a member of the standard setting organization (SSO) that developed
the standard in question, because the owner can be made to agree to
the terms of the SSO's intellectual property rights (IPR) policy as
a precondition to being allowed to become a member."
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