The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has managed to cajole several high-profile technology firms to try and end their patent legal cases after a roundtable held between high-profile representatives last week.
The organisation met with employees from Apple, Nokia, Ericsson, Microsoft, Samsung, Research in Motion (RIM) and Motorola at a roundtable on 10 October (pictured) to try and broker a ceasefire between the firms.
The representatives included Apple's chief intellectual property counsel Bruce Watrous, the senior licensing counsel at Motorola Ray Warren and the director general for competition in the European Commission (EC), Thomas Kramler.
Currently all the companies are embroiled in various patent battles in different territories, with Apple and Samsung's cases the most high-profile with a recent ruling in US forcing the South Korean firm to pay Apple $1bn in damages over design infringements.
However, many have argued these cases are stifling innovation in the industry and, as such, the ITU said it is hopeful the meeting held last week will lead to more constructive conversations.
"This meeting agreed a roadmap to address the main concerns; in particular: the conditions under which companies that have made RAND [Reasonable and non-discriminatory] licensing commitments should be allowed to seek injunctions; and clarification of the meaning of the word 'reasonable' in RAND," it said.
A total of 78 representatives from various firms, including Qualcomm, Cisco and Huawei, attended the event, as well as regulators, patent offices and government staff.
They have scheduled their next meeting for the 24 and 25 January 2013.
The vice president of Nokia's intellectual property business, Paul Melin, who attended the ITU's meeting, told V3 the talks were a useful insight into the current acceptance of many of the laws around patents.
"We were pleased to see a consensus that the current FRAND licensing regime works remarkably well as is, supporting both innovation and vibrant competition," he said.
"The fact that some companies are engaged in litigation about technology licenses is only natural, and not a concern as such - rather these disputes demonstrate the high value of standardised technologies.
"It is also very clear that potential clarifications to the details of FRAND licensing principles, if any, must be limited to future standards only, as the interpretation of past commitments is appropriately addressed by courts."
V3 also contacted several other firms that attended, including Samsung, Apple and RIM, for comment but had received no reply at time of publication.
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