the INQUIRER: ITU calls for patent peace talks between Apple, Samsung and Microsoft

THE INTERNATIONAL TELECOMMUNICATIONS UNION (ITU) talked a number of mobile technology firms into negotiations to end their patent lawsuits at a roundtable meeting last week.

The organisation met with employees from Apple, Nokia, Ericsson, Microsoft, Samsung, Research in Motion (RIM) and Motorola at a roundtable on 10 October to try to broker a legal ceasefire between the firms.
The representatives included Apple’s chief intellectual property counsel Bruce Watrous, the senior licensing counsel at Motorola Ray Warren and the director general for competition in the European Commission (EC), Thomas Kramler.

Presently all these companies are embroiled in various patent battles in different territories, with Apple’s and Samsung’s cases being the most prominent due to a recent jury verdict in the US awarding Apple $1bn in damages for alleged design patent infringement.

However, many have argued these cases are stifling innovation in the industry and, as such, the ITU said it is hopeful the meeting held last week will lead to more constructive conversations.

“This meeting agreed a roadmap to address the main concerns; in particular: the conditions under which companies that have made RAND [Reasonable and non-discriminatory] licensing commitments should be allowed to seek injunctions; and clarification of the meaning of the word ‘reasonable’ in RAND,” it said.

In total 78 representatives from various firms, including Qualcomm, Cisco and Huawei attended the event, as well as regulators, patent offices and government staff.

They have scheduled their next meeting for the 24 and 25 January 2013.

The INQUIRER contacted several firms that attended including Samsung, Apple, RIM and Nokia for comment but had received no replies at time of publication.


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