Apple Wants ETSI to Change 'Essential' Patent Licensing Rules

Apple, through a letter, has asked the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) to revamp its existing patent licensing mechanism and bring clarity to the manner in which patents, deemed important to industry, are handled.

According to Apple, because of lack of fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory mechanism, many companies ask for high rates when licensing patents and in case the negotiations fail, file patent infringement lawsuits against one another.

The fruity company was of the viewpoint that the telecom industry was yet to come up with an efficient and consistent policy in order to make sure that vendors can license the required patents to aid the manufacturing process of devices capable of functioning on existing mobile networks.

A Wall Street Journal report quoted Bruce Watrous- Apple's intellectual property head as saying: "It is apparent that our industry suffers from a lack of consistent adherence to FRAND principles in the cellular standards arena".

The letter has been published in full on Foss Patents.

BBC has listed the three specific points that Apple is requesting from ETSI. First, companies involved in licensing negotiations can only ask for appropriate royalty rates. Second, a common royalty base needs to be worked out such that the patent's value is calculated based on a percentage of the cost of the relevant component, rather than the whole device. Third, there should be a no injunction policy under which companies would not be able to seek block on sales or shipments of rivals' equipments.