Commercially Essential Patent

Generally used to describe a patent which it is not technically essential, and which does not necessarily need to be infringed to meet a standard, but which likely will be infringed when implementing features which are required and demanded from a commercial perspective, by typical consumers or because alternatives are uneconomic. One way in which commercial essentiality can arise is where a standard is incorporated in a component such as a microprocessor; for small industry players it may be uneconomic to have manufactured small volumes of components that do not incorporate the standard, even if the functions covered by the standard are unused and otherwise unwanted, i.e., the ‘off-the-shelf’ component with an extra unused feature is much cheaper and more quickly available than a custom component without the feature. See Essential Patents.

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