Let me start by saying I’m not a fan of Apple in any way, shape, or form. Team Samsung all the way. As much as I tire from all of the constant patent wars, it has become borderline obsessive the way I’ve kept up on them. I was practically jumping up and down when I saw “Regulators Demand Patent Clarification” in the Google News app.
Manufacturers Samsung, Apple, Microsoft, Nokia, Research In Motion, Google and more than 140 others met in Geneva to discuss patent-related issues. Regulators with them included the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, the Korea Fair Trade Commission, the China National Institute of Standardization, the Japan External Trade Organisation, various European regulators, a number of patent officers and academics. These regulators have called for improved patent clarification following complaints on how some smartphone manufacturers have sought to protect their assets. I get the feeling Apple had a déjà vu moment from childhood when mom gave a pointed stare.
Items discussed included ways MP3 sound format, MPEG-4 coding and 802.11 wireless technologies are critical to industry-wide standards. These patents are recognized as standard essentials and must be licensed with “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (Frand) terms”. Microsoft, Cisco, and shockingly enough Apple have pushing for the removal of import bans on offending devices as well. Much of the proceedings took place behind closed doors and the attendees declined to comment except to say the discussion was “heated”. I would give anything to have witnessed the words between Samsung and Apple. A working group called the Telecommunication Standardization Bureau will now hold two more days of deliberation before issuing a statement on Thursday as to how they will proceed over the projected twelve months it will take to get things in order.
I personally couldn’t be more pleased by this information and hope Apple finally gets spanked and sent home without a binky. As always, I value your take on the subject.