Feeds

EU to quiz Apple and Samsung on Frand deals

Some discrimination is more reasonable than other kinds

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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. ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.