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February 9, 2012

Apple seeks new FRAND licensing rules for essential patents

Focuses on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) policy

By CBR Staff Writer

Apple has asked the telecom regulator European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to lay down new rules on how companies license patents in the mobile industry, saying that the current patent licensing rules are inconsistent.

It has been revealed that the company submitted a letter to the ETSI last November requesting "more consistent and transparent" rules to define how companies license patents.

The letter now reported by the Wall Street Journal focuses on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) policy for companies to license technologies determined to be an industry standard that include 3G networks or MP3 files.

Apple reportedly proposed new royalty system for licensing patents in Europe and suggested a ‘no injunction’ policy, under which rival patent owners would not enforce sales bans in FRAND-patent disputes.

In the letter, Apple had also stated that lack of clarity regarding FRAND based licensing was leading to disputes between a number of mobile industry players.

A copy of the document has been published online by the Foss Patents blog.

Samsung and Motorola Mobility have both sued Apple over essential patents infringements recently and demanded a 2.4% and 2.25% royalty from iPhone maker, respectively.

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