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Antitrust Division Speech On Standard Setting


On March 29, 2007, Hill B. Wellford, Counsel to the Assistant Attorney General of DOJ’s Antitrust Division, gave a speech called “Antitrust Issues in Standard Setting” before the China Electronics Standardization Institute in Beijing, China. Mr. Wellford discussed DOJ’s policy in applying antitrust law to “ex ante” patent policies within standards development organizations (“SDOs”). He advocated several general principles, such as the emphasis on efficiency when analyzing SDO conduct, and that market competition among SDOs could be an effective way to evaluate SDO policies. Mr. Wellford also discussed the recent business reviews submitted by the VMEbus International Trade Association (“VITA”) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Inc. (“IEEE”), which he described as “the cutting edge of the debate over ex ante patent policies.”

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