WITHOUT technical standards, life would be a lot more complicated. They make it possible, for example, for computers of all sorts to connect to the internet via Wi-Fi in homes, offices and coffee shops, and for mobile phones of different makes on different networks to communicate with one another.
A standard often relies on intellectual property created by many different companies. Disputes over what this intellectual property is worth have been surprisingly rare. Usually, companies agree to license their “standard-essential patents” (SEPs) on “reasonable and non-discriminatory”, or RAND, terms.