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View Full Version : Apple lost the patent war in Germany, now they're asking for gov. regulation


thejadedmonkey
Feb 8, 2012, 08:48 AM
In what perhaps some could label a move out of desperation, Apple issued a letter to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute asking the body to establish consistent royalty fees for patents deemed essential to wireless standards, reports the Wall Street Journal. The body has a role in setting the standards related to GSM, 3G UMTS and 4G LTE radio technologies.

Apple, involved in nasty patent disputes with Motorola, HTC and Samsung in courtrooms around the world, previously asserted in court documents that handset maker Motorola refused to license its essential patents on “Fair, Reasonable, and Non-Discriminatory” (FRAND) nature at rates offered to Nokia, Samsung and other vendors. According to the Journal:

Many mobile technology companies, such as Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., hold patents that became part of industry-wide standards. Standards bodies often require the patent holders to offer to license their patents to any company on a basis known as Frand, or fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory. Questions about such commitments have arisen amid a flurry of patent suits between rivals in the mobile-device market.

Apple’s lawyer wrote in the letter that “It is apparent that our industry suffers from a lack of consistent adherence to Frand principles in the cellular standards arena”.

Apple last week was forced to swallow its own medicine as a German court ruled that the company’s 3G products outside of the iPhone 4S infringe Motorola’s patents. The court ordered Apple Sales International in Ireland, which operates the online store of Apple in Europe, to stop offering 3G iPhones, iPods and iPads on the online store. A few hours later, Apple announced said devices would be back on sale “shortly” as the court lifted ban due to FRAND status of patents.

source (http://9to5mac.com/2012/02/08/apple-pressuring-regulators-to-set-frand-licensing-rules/)


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Personal remark: This just screams "Apple doesn't want to pay up" to me. First they try to evade the patents, then when they get found out, they try to change the rules so they don't have to pay. I wonder how they'd like it if Motorola created a version of Android specifically for the iPhone 3g that you could install on Apple's hardware. Let Apple create the product, and then another company can take advantage of it.

*LTD*
Feb 8, 2012, 09:09 AM
In what perhaps some could label a move out of desperation

http://mashable.com/2012/01/24/apple-quarter-by-the-numbers/

http://macdailynews.com/2012/02/07/apple-shares-hit-new-all-time-intraday-closing-highs-7/

Doesn't look very desperate to me.

Apple has massive amounts of clout and mindshare with consumers. They can lose virtually every patent battle and still sell an obscene amount of iDevices for obscene amounts of profit. Apple loses nothing at all by testing the waters at higher regulatory levels.

The only parties here who are threatened by any of Apple's legal moves are Apple's competitors. Motorola, for instance, has already made it very clear (last month) that their continuing legal battles with Apple have been causing them financial strain. So of course, being the no-account, has-been dinosaurs that they are, they decided to grab money another way. Guess if they can't make money by making great products, they have to make money somehow, through paper.

Apple’s lawyer wrote in the letter that “It is apparent that our industry suffers from a lack of consistent adherence to Frand principles in the cellular standards arena”.

This is becoming quite obvious.

ChazUK
Feb 8, 2012, 09:20 AM
Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (Linux; U; Android 4.0.2; en-gb; Galaxy Nexus Build/ICL53F) AppleWebKit/535.7 (KHTML, like Gecko) CrMo/16.0.912.75 Mobile Safari/535.7)

I couldn't really say if Apple have been unfairly treated with licensing the essential tech needed for a modern handset.

What I will say however, is if Apple are being treated unfairly by rival companies that this does need looking in to. It would be inherently wrong for Apple to be shut out of the sector by other companies holding back the essentials of this now standardised technology. Its not fair on Apple, nor me as a consumer.

Of course, if it is Apple who have not been playing fair, I hope they have to pay up like the rest of the industry who's innovations and cross licensing deals made what we have now possible.

patrick0brien
Feb 8, 2012, 09:26 AM
If your defense against being litigated over a FRAND patent fails, the next standard move is governmental. It's how the systems are set up.

A FRAND holder has no right to choose who to license to and not, or vary the license terms, ergo the "ND" part of "FRAND". Conversely, every lisensee must pay, nobody gets a freebie.

gnasher729
Feb 8, 2012, 10:49 AM
In what perhaps some could label a move out of desperation, ...

That's the point where you are getting pathetic and I stopped reading.

maflynn
Feb 8, 2012, 10:52 AM
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