Standard essential patents continue to foster debate in the mobile arena.
What you need to know
- Apple has published a statement reiterating its commitment to the fair licensing of standard essential patents.
- Apple acquired a majority of Intel’s smartphone modem business earlier this year.
- SEPs refer to patents that are essential to certain technologies, like mobile communications.
Apple has published a statement to its website reiterating its commitment to the fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) licensing of standard essential patents.
According to a summary of the statement:
How standard essential patents are licensed affects competition, innovation, product compatibility, and consumer choice. When licensed on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms, everyone stands to benefit. On the other hand, when companies use the market power of a standard and standard essential patents to demand unfair, unreasonable, or discriminatory terms, consumers are harmed and fewer choices are available. Apple brings a balanced perspective to the promises and perils of standardization and outlines several core principles to promote fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory licensing of standard essential patents, addressing transparency during negotiation, merits-based evaluation, portfolio licensing, use of a common royalty base and rate, and injunctive relief. Taken together, these principles provide a consistent framework for fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory licensing of standard essential patents.
Apple purchased a majority share in Intel’s smartphone modem business earlier this year, after which it said it would hold more than 17,000 wireless tech patents. Standard essential patents refer to patents that are essential to certain technologies. They are licensed by the company which holds them so that competitors can also incorporate the technology into their own products and services.
Within the piece, Apple says it has “long sought to bring a balanced perspective to the promises and perils of standardization and is committed to licensing its cellular SEPs on FRAND terms,” entering into licensing agreements with dozens of licensors. It also says that it has sought to do with transparent and consistent FRAND methodology. These principles include transparent negotiation and merit-based valuation of SEPS. It also states that licensors should not be forced to take bundled or portfolio licenses and that there should be a common royalty base that applies to all parties.
In conclusion, Apple states:
As both an innovator and an implementer of standardized technologies, Apple remains committed to these core FRAND principles, now and in the future.
You can read the full statement here.