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Parliamentary question - E-000317/2020Parliamentary question

Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs)

Question for written answer E-000317/2020
to the Commission
Rule 138
Liesje Schreinemacher (Renew), Stéphane Séjourné (Renew)

An effective and balanced European Intellectual Property (IP) system is necessary to enable European companies to innovate and compete globally. A faulty patent system leaves the entire single market vulnerable to abuse.

We are currently witnessing an increase in the number of Patent Assertion Entities (PAEs). PAEs are financial vehicles that do not produce or sell any products. Instead, they buy up patents with the aim of litigating against innovative companies, including SMEs, in order to obtain high settlement fees.

In 2018, Darts-ip reported an average annual increase of just below 20 % in PAE litigation cases between 2007 and 2017 [1] . This upward trend was particularly marked in the ICT industry.

On 16 January 2020, the Financial Times reported that a group of 35 companies had called on the Commission to take action against PAEs [2] . This trend of abuse by PAEs is a cause for concern.

Last updated: 25 September 2020
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