Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sat 2nd Nov 2013 17:24 UTC
Legal

Apple, Microsoft, and others, a little over a month ago in a letter to the EU, warning that the EU's new proposed unified patent law could lead to more patent trolling:

To mitigate the potential for abuses of such power, courts should be guided by principles set forth in the rules of procedure to assess proportionality prior to granting injunctions. And PAEs should not be allowed to use injunctions for the sole purpose of extracting excessive royalties from operating companies that fear business disruption.

Yesterday:

A new front opened today in the patent wars between large technology companies, as a consortium that owns thousands of patents from the Nortel bankruptcy auction filed suit against Google and other manufacturers alleging infringement. Rockstar, which is owned jointly by Apple, Blackberry, Ericsson, Microsoft, and Sony, filed suit in US District Court in Texas. In addition to Google, the consortium has alleged infringement by Asus, HTC, Huawei, LG, Pantech, Samsung, and ZTE.

They're not just scumbags - they are lying scumbags.

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RE[8]: You forgot Google
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 3rd Nov 2013 10:54 UTC in reply to "RE[7]: You forgot Google"
Thom_Holwerda
Member since:
2005-06-29

Simple question.

Company A violates company B's SEPs. They enter negotiations. Company B offers proper FRAND terms. Company A refuses to accept them, but continues to violate the SEPs. What is company B to do?

According to Apple fanatics, the US president, and the EU, company B cannot do anything at all. Company B is not allowed to sue over SEPs, is not allowed to ask for an injunction, is not allowed to do anything at all whatsoever.

This effectively means that the FRAND system has collapsed, because there is no possible way for SEP holders to punish companies unwilling to accept proper FRAND terms. Company A has found a loophole in the system: it can violate SEPs without any fear of repercussions, and without ever having to pay a single licensing fee.

If you do not understand the dangers of these recent developments, let me spell it out for you. First, it will make companies more reluctant to contribute patents to standards setting processes, because that would mean anyone can employ the loophole and just violate them for free. In turn, this will discourage companies from working together on grand, multi-corporational projects like wireless communication standards.

This is going to come back to bite us in the ass.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[9]: You forgot Google
by Nelson on Sun 3rd Nov 2013 13:10 in reply to "RE[8]: You forgot Google"
Nelson Member since:
2005-11-29

Companies are free to seek monetary compensation like Motorola did from Microsoft. Seeking injunctions is off the table.

A good example is iCloud Push in Germany that Apple had to remove due to a preliminary ruling on an SEP that was later thrown out.

The act of tying, requesting non-SEPs in reciprocation for SEPs is NOT FRAND and pretty much the only ruling supporting your position is an ITC which overstepped its authority and was remanded by its boss.

Samsung cannot request Apple's crown jewel patents in exchange for a license to a patent they promised to make broadly available. How do you not get this?

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[10]: You forgot Google
by Thom_Holwerda on Sun 3rd Nov 2013 13:17 in reply to "RE[9]: You forgot Google"
Thom_Holwerda Member since:
2005-06-29

Companies are free to seek monetary compensation like Motorola did from Microsoft.


You are ignoring virtually everything I said in my post. So, I'll just repeat the question in the faint hope you might actually reply for once: what if FRAND terms are offered, but not accepted? They are not allowed to sue over SEPs, so what other options does that leave?

Exactly: none. SEPs can be freely violated, since SEP holders have no way to enforce them. Apple knows this, and abuses this loophole considerably.

Samsung cannot request Apple's crown jewel patents in exchange for a license to a patent they promised to make broadly available. How do you not get this?


Except - they can. The ITC made it very clear that asking for cross-licensing is NOT a violation of FRAND commitments. How do you not get this?

Reply Parent Score: 2