Enforcing Telecoms SEPs as Abuse of Dominant Position

The European Principles


  • Miko Mustonen Helsingin yliopisto




abuse of dominant position, FRAND terms, injunctions, licensing, patent infringement, standard essential patents, telecommunications


Telecommunications industry uses extensive standardisation to ensure interoperability between the devices of competing manufacturers. SEPs, or patents incorporated in related technical standards, are of extraordinary importance in the industry. Hence seeking legal remedies for SEP infringements may compromise effective competition in the internal market and may thus fall within the scope of Article 102 TFEU on abuse of dominant position. In this paper I review, on which conditions the SEP holder is allowed to seek legal remedies for SEP infringement without being restrained by Article 102 TFEU. I conclude that a dominant position is established nearly always through mere SEP ownership, and this dominant position is abused by bringing an SEP infringement suit if the sought remedy has a direct effect on the market access of the SEP implementer and the SEP holder does not have an objective justification to seek such remedies.





Mustonen, M. (2022). Enforcing Telecoms SEPs as Abuse of Dominant Position: The European Principles. Helsinki Law Review, 15(1), 48–73. https://doi.org/10.33344/vol11Ypp48-73