ITU to organize roundtable to discuss patent issues

Telecom Lead India: ITU will host a roundtable discussion
between standards organizations, industry players and government officials at
ITU headquarters in Geneva, on 10 October 2012.

The round table is significant as companies such as
Apple, Samsung, Motorola, Microsoft, Nokia, HTC, ZTE, Huawei, Nokia Siemens,
etc are facing huge roadblocks to launch new products.

The ITU Patent Roundtable will address the surge in
patent litigation and the growing lack of adherence to standards bodies’ patent

Topics include potential improvements to existing policy
frameworks, entitlement to injunctive reliefs, and definitions of what
constitutes a royalty base.

Discussions on the relevance of current arrangements
based around reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) patent policies will be a
key focus. RAND-based policies have thus far been an effective way of managing
natural tensions between patent holders, standards implementers and end-users.

The ICT industry is affected, with key protocols
implemented in devices encompassing hundreds of patents. If just one patent
holder decides to demand unreasonable compensation for use of its intellectual
property (IP), the cost of the device in which that IP is implemented can

We are seeing an unwelcome trend in today’s marketplace
to use standards-essential patents to block markets. There needs to be an
urgent review of this situation: patents are meant to encourage innovation, not
stifle it. Acknowledging patent holders and user requirements, as well as
market needs, is a balancing act. This timely multi-stakeholder roundtable will
help press for a resolution on some of the critical issues,” said Hamadoun
Toure, ITU Secretary-General.

The development of technical standards more and more
frequently anticipates technology, as opposed to following it, leading to
potentially challenging situations. ITU strives to accommodate both end-user
requirements and the intellectual property requirements of the originator of
the technology. This need for balance led to the development of an IPR policy
on the basis of RAND, a policy that will continue to demand ongoing review to
address the new challenges of the fast growing ICT industry.

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