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October 11, 2012

Regulators call for enhanced patent rules

Use of standard essential patent litigation increased globally

By CBR Staff Writer

Regulators have called for clarity and improvement in patent rules after criticisms regarding the way some smartphone makers had asserted their their patent rights over patented technologies.

Regulators include Europe and US Federal Trade Commission along with the Korea Fair Trade Commission, China National Institute of Standardisation and Japan External Trade Organisation.

Technology companies including Apple, Google, Microsoft, Nokia, Research in Motion and Samsung that attended the International Telecommunication Union’s (ITU) conference have long decided that some critical technologies have to be provided on ‘reasonable’ terms.

According to ITU, the meeting was focussed on Fair, Reasonable And Non-Discriminatory (FRAND) licensing conditions for standard-essential patents.

ITU secretary general Hamadoun Toure said that the agency saw an increase in the use of standard essential patent litigation around the world.

"Although the standard and patent systems are both meant to spur innovation, the relationship between these two systems is complex and sometimes antagonisms arise, Toure said.

"As we all know, progress – especially in the information and communication technology sector – absolutely depends on there being clear incentives for innovators."

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Following the implementation of FRAND, a single device may deploy several patented inventions after the user had agreed to pay the required royalty t the patent holder.

The FRAND conditions are intended to assure that the firms can deploy the patented technology without paying huge fees and if its adoptions increase, firms will have a sole implementation as a choice.

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