"Both intellectual property rights (IPRs) and standardisation encourage innovation and facilitate the dissemination of technology. However, as they contribute to these common objectives by different means, due regard needs to be paid to the interrelation between IPR and standardisation. The Commission supports the view that standards should be open for access and implementation by everyone, with IPRs relevant to the standard being taken into consideration in the standardisation process, aiming to establish a balance between the interests of the users of standards and the rights of owners of intellectual property. In the Guidelines for cooperation17 between the EC and EFTA and the ESOs, the ESOs have committed themselves to ensure that standards, including any IPRs they might contain, can be used by market operators on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory conditions (FRAND). However, standardisation stakeholders, including public authorities, have been confronted with issues raised by the interplay of IPRs and standards, in particular in the ICT field. - The Commission encourages the ESOs to continue their efforts to make the FRAND policy effective and to develop mechanisms to prevent abuses of the standard-setting process. - The Commission will launch a fact-finding study to analyse the interplay of IPR and standards."