Lines are moving on certain fronts in the patent war being waged by the mobile telecoms giants. While the conflict continues between Samsung and Apple, which are at each other's throats in several jurisdictions, the situation is calming down between other players.

At issue are patents on technology essential standards - 3G-UMTS standard of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) - held by certain device manufacturers, including Samsung, Nokia and Motorola. They are obliged to grant licences to competitors - who have no choice but to use these essential patents that have been adopted as standards - on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis. In practice, though, for at least the last two years, certain patent holders have been taking legal action against competitors for patent infringement, seeking to block the sale of their devices and/or to obtain compensation.

Google, which got its hands on 17,000 patents with its acquisition of Motorola (and kept them when it sold the firm to Lenovo recently) has decided to pacify its relations with certain competitors. It announced, on 4 February, a patent-sharing agreement with Cisco, without saying which functions would be concerned. These may include the Google Hangouts and WebEx systems for voice and video conversations.

It also made public, in late January, an arrangement with Samsung, one of the most virulent "belligerents," on a ten-year exchange of...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT