Feeds

EU to quiz Apple and Samsung on Frand deals

Some discrimination is more reasonable than other kinds

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The EU is chasing up Samsung, and Apple, for details of the Frand licensing dispute, so make sure everyone is playing in a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) fashion.

The EU investigation came to light in court documents filed by Apple in the ongoing dispute between the two companies. In the filing Apple claims that the EU is investigating possible breaches of competition law by Samsung, a claim which was spotted by patent watcher Florian Mueller and confirmed to El Reg this morning.

European Commission's Directorate-General for Competition told us that it had requested information from both Samsung and Apple regarding "the enforcement of standards-essential patents in the mobile telephony sector".

Samsung confirmed that it has received the request, and reiterated that it has always "remained committed to fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory licensing terms for our wireless standards-related patents".

In common with many companies who've been in the wireless business for a while, Samsung has a handful of patents which have been incorporated into the 3G standard, but a condition of having one's patents used is that one agrees to license them on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (Frand) basis. So everyone has to pay a similar licence fee, and no one can be refused a "reasonable" licence.

Samsung is accusing Apple of infringing its patents, and claims to be happy to offer Apple a licence, but Apple counter-claims that it has been asking for such a thing for months without sensible response, which is probably why the EU has stepped in to mediate.

The EU only adopted the 3G standard on the condition that all the patent holders agreed to Frand restrictions, so its lawmakers will be very upset if Samsung isn't playing the game. But Samsung is fighting a tit-for-tat battle with Apple within which its standard-essential patents are an important weapon.

The EU investigation hardly warrants the name just yet, the Directorate-General has only asked for information from the parties involved, but if it develops it could see a considerable proportion of Samsung's ammunition removed from the field of battle. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.