Thursday, October 11, 2012

A naive view on FRAND

So what are FRAND patents?
Simply said, they are patents where the owner has agreed to negotiate with anyone wanting to license it, and grant reasonable licenses.
A FRAND commitment is usually a requirement by standard bodies to allow "patent tainted" standards.
Actually FRAND practices discriminate against free software, and that's it's biggest issue.
Now as an innocent bystander, IANAL, FRAND has no real hard legal implications, because to many terms are undefined, what's fair, what's reasonable, what's discriminatory?
OTOH, in practice FRAND meant that the guys involved negotiated, cross licensed the patents, and went home happy.
FRAND, especially did not involve:
  • Ignoring the patents, and not negotiating a license.
  • Starting a patent war.
Hint: Apple did all of the above.
Before anyone points out, that others started it, well before you had mostly to kinds of events:
  • Tiny patent skirmishes.
  • Non practicing entities ("patent trolls") shaking down practicing entities. ("manufacturers").

So yes, Apple shouted "Fire" in a theater full of people bristling with mass weapons of IPR destruction.

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