Managing SEPs and Open Standards – Episode 28

The SEP Couch - Episode 28 with Lyse Brillouet.

March 6, 2024

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  • Lyse Brillouet, Orange Group

Lyse Brillouet has been the Chief Intellectual Property Officer and Senior Vice President of Licensing for the Orange Group since 2018. She came to IP with a deep and cross-functional capability background in strategy, innovation, and business enablement. Her specific skills include managing critical business disruption projects and staging complex projects to implement high-value digital transformations. She held various positions in business and innovation within the Orange Group, such as Head of the Digital Society Research Program and Head of Strategy & Marketing for the e-Health Division.

In the podcast, Lyse describes why IP matters within the Orange Corporation, which has over 130,000 employees worldwide. IP for Orange is an important outcome of various research and development projects. Lyse explains that Orange is a technology company that aims to bring technology and related services to its customers. With that objective, Lyse also leads her IP team, where, in some cases, she must balance the monetization of IP with promoting a new standardized technology.

A good example she provides here is Orange’s strategy towards patent pools. Orange is very much in favor of patent pools and Lyse believes it’s the most efficient way to license SEPs. In fact, as to the LexisNexis® IPlytics data, no other SEP owner joins as many patent pools as Orange. Lyse provides even more detail here, explaining that Orange is not only a pool member but often even the founder of various patent pools. Lyse elaborates that patent pools are, however, joined by companies with different objectives and that there is always a trade-off about how much royalty should be paid by a patent pool compared to promoting and ensuring the broad adoption of a technology standard. In conclusion, pools not only have the function of creating license revenues but are also tools to provide one-stop market access.

As to the LexisNexis® IPlytics data on submitted 5G standards contributions, Orange ranks in the top 20. However, the Orange 5G patent portfolio is ranked much lower. Lyse explains that the contribution of the standards working groups for Orange standards development is about something other than IP or filing SEPs. It’s much more about creating widely used and accepted standards. SEPs are an organic outcome of that process. Also, Lyse explains that at Orange, they declared only those patents in the public ETSI IPR databases that are verified essential, which may make the Orange SEP portfolio look much smaller than the over-declared SEP portfolio of some other companies in a 5G ranking.

Lyse believes that standards will be adopted by an increasing range of industries, going beyond automotive to the IoT. Orange has been here since last year and cooperates and provides technology to those industries, and she is optimistic that the SEP licensing challenges will also be resolved there.

Finally, Lyse comments on the latest EU Commission proposal for a SEP regulation. Lyse feels that setting up a new SEP register or database for existing standards needs to be clarified for her. If at all necessary, a new register of SEPs is essential for future standards. She feels that anything else would not be feasible and too costly for her team, and she would expect a negligible effect on her SEP licensing success.

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