Print 31 comment(s) - last by Cheesew1z69.. on Feb 15 at 11:32 AM

Google swears it will be fair with FRAND patents

Back in August 2011, Google announced that it intended the purchase Motorola Mobility. Not only will the purchase get Google the ability to design and build its own smartphones, the deal means Google acquires all of the patents that Motorola Mobility holds. Since the deal was first announced, it has been going through all the hoops needed by regulators in the United States.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the deal is now close to being completed and approval from the U.S. Justice Department is expected to come as early as next week. Once the deal is complete, Google will layout $12.5 billion in exchange for Motorola Mobility.
However, some antitrust enforcers in America and Europe still worry about the deal. The fear stems from the fact that Motorola Mobility owns patents for things that are considered industry standards. The regulators fear that Google may attempt to license the patents for unfair prices to competitors.

When patents that a company holds are turned into industry standards, the companies that own the patents have to agree to license them under fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms also known as FRAND. FRAND patents are hot topics right now because some manufacturers that hold this type of patent have attempted to use them to get injunctions against competitors and courts.
Motorola most recently has used FRAND patents to win an injunction against Apple that forced the suspension of sales of some of Apple products in Germany. Google has been sending letters to standards organizations around the world that promise to offer licenses for the FRAND patents in the Motorola Mobility portfolio.
The letter read in part, "Google will not apply for injunctive relief against a willing licensee." The letter continued, "[we] reserve its right to seek any and all appropriate judicial remedies against counterparties [that refuse to license the patents]."

Source: Wall Street Journal

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RE: You must be thinking of Apple.....
By Tony Swash on 2/10/2012 5:25:24 AM , Rating: 2
Oh dear - it looks like you don't understand what FRAND means. Here is how Wikipedia defines FRAND

Standard-setting organizations commonly have rules that govern the ownership of patent rights that apply to the standards they adopt. One of the most common rules is that a patent that applies to the standard must be adopted on "reasonable and non-discriminatory terms" (RAND) or on "fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory terms" (FRAND). The two terms are generally interchangeable; FRAND seems to be preferred in Europe and RAND in the U.S.

Standard-setting organizations include this obligation in their bylaws as a means of enhancing the pro-competitive character of their industry. They are intended to prevent members from engaging in licensing abuse based on the monopolistic advantage generated as a result of having their intellectual property rights (IPR) included in the industry standards. Once an organization is offering a FRAND license they are required to offer that license to anyone, not necessarily members of the group.[2][1] Without such commitment, members could use monopoly power inherent in a standard to impose unfair, unreasonable and discriminatory licensing terms that would damage competition and inflate their own relative position.

So what does that mean? It means a company comes up with a new way to do something, send wireless signals for example, and it patents it. In this example it is clear that it would be a good thing (increase the value of all products) if everyone used the same wireless standard, and it would be good for the owner of the patent if their patented wireless system was adopted as the standard for the industry as a whole because they could then collect licence fees from everyone. So far so good. In order to get it's competitors to trust that it won't abuse it's patent if adopted as a standard it declares to the relevant standard setting body that it will be licensed under the FRAND framework. This means it makes a commitment that everyone willing to pay a license fee will get one (so no competitor will be shut out) and that the licence fees will be fair and non-discriminatory, that is everyone will pay basically the same as everyone else. Again so far so good.

The problem arises when an owner of a FRAND patent abuses the FRAND system by seeking to use it's ownership of a FRAND patent to discriminate against another company. In the Motorola - Apple dispute that is what Motorola has done by asking for a ludicrously high 2.5% of total revenues, a level other users of the same FRAND patent do not pay. Motorola has taken this case to the German courts because of the odd so called 'Orange Book' system that currently operates there whereby even though the 2.5% request is not acceptable under FRAND terms and will be thrown out in the interim Apple's rejection of it and counter offer (which was rejected by Motorola) can trigger an injunction being issued. The Orange Book system is explained here

This is an abuse of the FRAND system and undermines the FRAND system. The fact that people who claim to like technology defend such things just show how iPhobia rots the brain and destroys judgement.

Meanwhile in the real world Motorola can't seem to make phones that people want to buy or which they can sell at a profit, hence their desperation. In the whole Android ecosystem nobody except Samsung (which are the best at copying Apple) seems to be able to make any money. That doesn't look too healthy.

RE: You must be thinking of Apple.....
By Reclaimer77 on 2/10/2012 9:42:42 AM , Rating: 1
Don't talk to me like I'm some goddamn kid, you robotic asshole. I understand FRAND, and futhermore, I'm pretty fucking sure Motorola and Samsung's billion dollar legal team understand FAR more than you about it.

Take your condescending tone, your biased Foss patent, and your Wiki quotes and cram them right up there. All the way.

None of this would be happening if your cancer ridden asshole prophet didn't "Go to thermonuclear war" over Android. He's emboldened the entire tech industry against them. Don't preach me us about FRAND when you support a company that outright declared they should have a monopoly and will "go to war" to stop competition.

Crying "FRAND abuse" while supporting a habitual patent abuser is the height of hypocrisy. You can't see that because you're so far up Apples asshole.

By testerguy on 2/15/2012 9:37:41 AM , Rating: 2
You're being spoken to like 'some goddamn kid' because you act like one.

Look at your last post, completely disregarding any of Tonys points and laying into an angry tirade of abuse.

Motorola and Samsung lawyers don't care about protecting FRAND and the technical innovation it encourages.

Similarly, the 'war' over Android has nothing to do with FRAND patents - none of the reasons that Apple is suing over have anything to do with FRAND at all. Which is why Apple is perfectly entitled to pursue those cases in any way they like. It's also why discussion Android just further demonstrates your lack of understanding. Honestly I think you're a teenager based on your words.

Try and let these words sink in:

1 - Not all patents are FRAND
2 - FRAND patents cannot be used to harm competition
3 - Non-FRAND patents can be used to harm competition.
4 - Motorola and Samsung are suing based on FRAND patents.
5 - Apple is NOT suing based on FRAND patents.

Back to school for you!!

"So, I think the same thing of the music industry. They can't say that they're losing money, you know what I'm saying. They just probably don't have the same surplus that they had." -- Wu-Tang Clan founder RZA

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