Feeds

EU to quiz Apple and Samsung on Frand deals

Some discrimination is more reasonable than other kinds

Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable

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. ®

Application security programs and practises

More from The Register

next story
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
HP, Microsoft prove it again: Big Business doesn't create jobs
SMEs get lip service - what they need is dinner at the Club
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
EU's top data cops to meet Google, Microsoft et al over 'right to be forgotten'
Plan to hammer out 'coherent' guidelines. Good luck chaps!
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
prev story

Whitepapers

Top three mobile application threats
Prevent sensitive data leakage over insecure channels or stolen mobile devices.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.