Feeds

EU to quiz Apple and Samsung on Frand deals

Some discrimination is more reasonable than other kinds

Boost IT visibility and business value

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. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Munich considers dumping Linux for ... GULP ... Windows!
Give a penguinista a hug, the Outlook's not good for open source's poster child
Yes, but what are your plans if a DRAGON attacks?
Local UK gov outs most ridiculous FoI requests...
UK fuzz want PINCODES on ALL mobile phones
Met Police calls for mandatory passwords on all new mobes
e-Borders fiasco: Brits stung for £224m after US IT giant sues UK govt
Defeat to Raytheon branded 'catastrophic result'
Govt control? Hah! It's IMPOSSIBLE to have a successful command economy
Even Moore's Law can't help the architects of statism now
Detroit losing MILLIONS because it buys CHEAP BATTERIES – report
Man at hardware store was right: name brands DO last longer
Snowden on NSA's MonsterMind TERROR: It may trigger cyberwar
Plus: Syria's internet going down? That was a US cock-up
This'll end well: US govt says car-to-car jibber-jabber will SAVE lives
Department of Transportation starts cogs turning for another wireless comms standard
Caught red-handed: UK cops, PCSOs, specials behaving badly… on social media
No Mr Fuzz, don't ask a crime victim to be your pal on Facebook
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
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.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.