“Today the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a UN agency that co-developed (for one example) the H.264 video codec standard, is holding a ‘patent roundtable’ to discuss the implications of widespread patent litigation in the wireless devices industry,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents.
“This morning I had the opportunity to follow over the Internet the first two of four sessions. I won’t have access to the afternoon session,” Mueller reports. “Clearly, the industry is deeply divided over the issue of SEP enforcement. Against this background, it speaks to the ITU’s influence that it managed to bring players like Apple on the FRAND-friendly side and the opponents of reasonably meaningful interpretations of FRAND pledges, above all (though not exclusively) Google’s Motorola Mobility, together for a day. Attendees also include competition regulators and patent offices from different continents.”
Mueller writes, “This is about the rules under which some of the most deep-pocketed companies in history are fighting for market share in a rapidly-converging high-tech industry, in which hardware, software and services of different kinds are all part of one market as opposed to separate industries. A company like Apple can’t allow others to abuse SEPs in order to force Apple to relinquish its crown jewels in the form of comprehensive cross-license agreements involving SEPs and non-SEPs on terms that don’t meet Apple’s strategic needs. At the same time, Google wants to get away with Android’s proven wide-ranging infringement of third-party rights, and it either wants to get so much leverage out of Motorola’s SEPs that it can solve the problem through a cross-license on favorable terms or it wants to at least create a situation in which non-SEPs are subjected to pretty much the same enforcement restrictions as SEPs. Either way, Google could neutralize Apple’s patents. They can meet at a dozen roundtables and still won’t agree. Those are just two of the companies involved, but their diametrically-opposed strategic interests show that even the most skilled dealmakers wouldn’t be able to broker an agreement. Consensus won’t resolve this fundamental conflict. All of these companies just do what they believe is best for their shareholders. The courts and the regulators have to apply the law with a view to overarching policy goals… judicial and regulatory decisions will be needed.”
Much more in the full article – highly recommended – here.
Google’s good-guy patent routine questioned by authorities – October 10, 2012