After suffering a setback from Motorola’s injunction in Germany recently, we have discovered that Apple sought to avoid such a pitfall in the past by requesting the telecom standards body in Europe to lay down the law for uniform patent licensing on the continent, so that companies are better able to define how they license patents. This letter was apparently written in November 2011 and has just seen the light recently. Addressing the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), Apple was fairly critical of the current state of the telecom industry across the Atlantic, where Cupertino claims it “lacks consistent licensing schemes for the many patents necessary to make mobile devices”.
Apple did suggest to set royalty rates in advance where all members of the ETSI would follow, as part of their response to cases where inflated and unreasonable terms and prices have been proposed by patent owners. Apple is extremely keen on standardization – I wonder whether it is really for the benefit of everyone in the industry, or could it be a case of sour grapes? What if the tables were turned – would they still have seeked a similar redress?
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