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[News] Europe Falls Victim for the RAND Scam After Lobbying From Microsoft

  • Subject: [News] Europe Falls Victim for the RAND Scam After Lobbying From Microsoft
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sat, 08 May 2010 18:36:01 +0100
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.4.2
Hash: SHA1

EU pushes for openness on patent royalties

,----[ Quote ]
| Uncertainty over royalty payments is a 
| bugbear of the wireless industry, as seen 
| by the current nervousness over the IPR 
| burden that will materialize in LTE 
| devices. Once standards are set and start 
| to appear in commercial products, patent 
| holders often emerge from the woodwork to 
| claim their fee, leading to complex cross-
| licensing negotiations and sometimes 
| lawsuits and hefty royalty fees.
| Many bodies, particularly the European 
| standards agency ETSI, have been trying to 
| get patent holders to declare their 
| holdings in a would-be standard upfront, 
| and the European Union is now offering a 
| powerful incentive to turn this into best 
| practise. The EU says companies that 
| provide technology that could be adopted in 
| industry standards could be exempted from 
| strict European antitrust laws if they set 
| out, from the start, the maximum fees they 
| would charge for their patents.
| [...]
| According to the Reuters news agency, the 
| draft rules contain benchmarks to assess 
| the level of FRAND licensing fees. The 
| Commission said companies would need to 
| disclose their intellectual property rights 
| before their patents were included in 
| standards. "No or unclear disclosure 
| obligations may furthermore give incentives 
| to 'patent ambushes', that is companies 
| hiding patents until industry is locked in 
| and thereafter refusing to license or 
| request exorbitant fees," the statement 
| said.


KnowRiÂht conference speech on software patents, standards and competition


New federal Pirate Party wants to storm Parliament

,----[ Quote ]
| The Pirate Party wants to change copyright 
| law, giving artists more liberty to build 
| on previous works and choose distribution 
| and licensing models allowing them to make 
| a living, and to help educate music artists 
| about earning through means other than 
| selling recordings through large corporate 
| intermediaries. It pledges to evaluate 
| introduction of levies to further 
| compensate artists, but in turn, would make 
| private, non-commercial copying of content 
| legal and virtually unrestricted for 
| consumers. Noting that current legislation 
| grants patent owners 20-year monopoly 
| rights, and contending that especially in 
| the fast-moving software industry where 
| inventions virtually always build on 
| previous works, issuing patents on software 
| consequently exposes innovators to lawsuit 
| risk, chilling innovation, the party would 
| ban software patents to encourage 
| innovators to enter the market without fear 
| of being sued.



Don't be fooled again

,----[ Quote ]
| Glynn Moody writes an insightful analysis of Microsoft's latest attempt to
| confuse the issue of open standards by throwing a new word into the mix:
| balance. It didn't fool Glynn, and it shouldn't fool you, either.
| In the final analysis, the question of what is an open standard, and how
| governments and free markets should police the claims of those who purport to
| offer open standards should never come down to a question of rhetoric. An
| open standard should never depend on what the definition of "is" is. Rather,
| there is plenty of room for those who are honest to say "X is a proprietary
| standard, dependent on restrictive technologies that must be licensed for a
| fee" and for others who are equally honest when they say "Y is an open
| standard, dependent on a variety of technologies, all of which can be
| practiced royalty free". And if we believe that free markets can make
| intelligent decisions based on fair information, market participants can
| choose which offering is most attractive to them and the best will come to
| all.


Wigital: Interoperability - Open Source, Sun Java, Novell Linux and Microsoft

,----[ Quote ]
| Microsoft patenst in these protocols will be made available on RAND terms at
| very low royalty rates Covenant not to sue open source developers for
| development and non-commercial distribution of implementations of these Open
| Protocols.


2008-04-02 Royalty Free versus Reasonable and Non Discriminatory Licensing

,----[ Quote ]
| Now, here an example of a RAND (Reasonable And Non Discriminatory) licensing
| model, this one has been made by Cisco about VRRP :
| Cisco is the owner of US patent No. 5 473 599, relating to the subject matter
| of "Virtual Router Redundancy Protocol for IPv6
| <draft-ietf-vrrp-ipv6-spec-04.txt>. If technology in this document is
| included in a standard adopted by IETF and any claims of this or any other
| Cisco patent are necessary for practicing the standard, any party will be
| able to obtain a license from Cisco to use any such patent claims under
| reasonable, non-discriminatory terms to implement and fully comply with the
| standard.
| First you need to contact Cisco to have a license but the terms are
| unknown. "Non-discriminatory" is vague and could be an issue for any free
| software implementation.


Rambus Court: âPrice Raising Deceptionâ Not Competitive Harm

,----[ Quote ]
| By the time Rambus announced its patents and began demanding royalties (and
| filing patent infringement suits against companies that refused to pay
| royalties), Rambus had achieved a technical âlock-inâ that made it difficult
| for the memory chip industry to move to a different technology. Rambusâs
| lock-in allowed it to obtain a 90% market-share, and demand supracompetitive
| royalties from companies that were producing JEDEC-compliant memory devices.
| Rambus has earned several billion dollars in licensing fees to date, and by
| some estimates its total royalties are could reach as high as $11 billion.

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