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IP-Watch interns talk about their Geneva experience in summer 2013. 2:42.

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9. These terms and your posts and contributions shall be governed and interpreted in accordance with the laws of Switzerland (without giving effect to conflict of laws principles thereof) and any dispute exclusively settled by the Courts of the Canton of Geneva.

Ten Questions About Internet Governance

On April 23 in Sao Paulo, Brazil, the “Global Multistakeholder Meeting on the Future of Internet Governance,” also known as “NETmundial” in an allusion to the global football event that will occur later in that country, will be convened. Juan Alfonso Fernández González of the Cuban Communications Ministry and a veteran of the UN internet governance meetings, raises 10 questions that need to be answered at NETmundial.


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    Nokia-Qualcomm Settlement Boosts Sharing, Ends Costly Patent War

    Published on 31 July 2008 @ 2:39 pm

    Intellectual Property Watch

    By Tatum Anderson for Intellectual Property Watch
    Nokia and Qualcomm, the two mobile phone equipment manufacturers engaged in a costly patent war that spanned three years and three continents settled their differences last week. However, questions still remain over the principles they fought about in courts around the world.

    The companies agreed a new intellectual property contract and to cease all lawsuits, including an important case at the Chancery Court of Delaware due to start last week. Nokia also has agreed to withdraw a complaint about Qualcomm to the European Commission made in 2005.

    The new deal enables the companies to share many more technology patents than before. Qualcomm’s technology will be licensed to Nokia, while Qualcomm will be allowed to incorporate Nokia’s technology within its mobile phone components and companies that buy those components will pay royalty fees rather than Qualcomm.

    Disagreements had flared up after the companies could not agree on the terms for a new deal replacing a 15-year-old-agreement which enabled them to licence each other’s technology.

    By April last year, Nokia stated that the old deal had expired and many of the old handset patents were now fully paid-up and not eligible for royalty payments. It said it would pay much less in royalty payments for the newer patents to reflect, in its opinion, Qualcomm’s relative contribution to the development of technology used in mobile devices, especially 3G.

    Qualcomm had argued that its intellectual property portfolio fully justified the payment it had asked for.

    Now, however, Nokia is believed to have won its battle for cheaper royalty fees and Qualcomm has got its hands on lots of crucial technology that will be used in future mobile devices. Who actually won is still unclear.

    “Who won entirely depends on the amount of money, which the parties are keeping to themselves,” said Ilya Kazi, a partner at patent firm Mathys and Squire. “My guess is it was a draw, a reasonable commercial settlement which both can live with and if so, this means common sense and commercial pragmatism won, a good result.”

    However, sources close to Nokia admit that many of the principles on which the company fought its battles are unresolved.

    Before it received favourable commercial terms, Nokia had argued that certain principles should be adhered to within standards bodies, and therefore by the mobile industry.

    In its European Commission complaint, for instance, it argued that Qualcomm had failed to meet its commitments to international standard bodies around the world and that it should licence its technology on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

    Along with other manufacturers, it also accused Qualcomm of anti-competitive conduct in the licensing of essential patents for mobile technology called 3G and allegedly excluding competing manufacturers of chipsets for mobile phones from the market and preventing others from entering.

    Indeed, the company continually raised the idea of FRAND and the need for a more precise definition of FRAND within the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI), the European Commission, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and finally at Delaware, in a court specialising in contractual cases.

    As Tim Frain, director of IPR, Regulatory Affairs, at Nokia put it in 2006: “Each essential patent owner can develop its own idea of how FRAND should be applied in practice. This fragmented approach means that when there are many essential patents and many essential patent owners, the overall licence cost, or “cumulative royalties”, are more uncertain.”

    In addition, Nokia raised other legal issues. It asked the Delaware court to issue an order that prevents companies from imposing injunctions against others when those patents have been declared essential to a standard. Nokia argued that companies lose the right to impose injunctions when they enter standard bodies.

    That came about in response to Qualcomm’s decision to file several lawsuits alleging patent infringement at the International Trade Commission (ITC) which has the potential to impose injunctions on companies it finds guilty of patent infringement. (Actually Nokia countersued and filed its own complaint with the ITC).

    Other Complaints Outstanding

    But although Nokia has withdrawn from such proceedings, it looks as if other members of the industry have not.

    The European Commission investigation into Qualcomm looks set to continue. Nokia was only one of the six companies – Broadcom, Ericsson, NEC, Panasonic Mobile Communications and Texas Instruments – to file separate complaints on Qualcomm to the Commission.

    Several say they have not withdrawn their complaints. “We will continue to co-operate with the Commission in its investigation,” said a spokesperson at Texas Instruments. “We intend to push forward with our complaint in the EU,” a spokesperson for Broadcom told Intellectual Property Watch.

    Tatum Anderson may be reached at info@ip-watch.ch.

     

    Comments

    1. re: The Auditors » Blog Archive » Update (2) – More FAS 5 – More Transparency or More Shilling says:

      [...] at the time, per FAS 5 current rules.  PwC was on all sides of this conflict.  Hmmmmmm. The litigation was recently settled. A reader who had been following that case much more closely wrote: …I speculated [back in [...]


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    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website. By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    We welcome your participation in article and blog comment threads, and other discussion forums, where we encourage you to analyse and react to the content available on the Intellectual Property Watch website.

    By participating in discussions or reader forums, or by submitting opinion pieces or comments to articles, blogs, reviews or multimedia features, you are consenting to these rules.

    1. You agree that you are fully responsible for the content that you post. You will not knowingly post content that violates the copyright, trademark, patent or other intellectual property right of any third party or which you know is under a confidentiality obligation preventing its publication and that you will request removal of the same should you discover that you have violated this provision. Likewise, you may not post content that is libelous, defamatory, obscene, abusive, that violates a third party's right to privacy, that otherwise violates any applicable local, state, national or international law, that amounts to spamming or that is otherwise inappropriate. You may not post content that degrades others on the basis of gender, race, class, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual preference, disability or other classification. Epithets and other language intended to intimidate or to incite violence are also prohibited. Furthermore, you may not impersonate others.

    2. You understand and agree that Intellectual Property Watch is not responsible for any content posted by you or third parties. You further understand that IP Watch does not monitor the content posted. Nevertheless, IP Watch may monitor the any user-generated content as it chooses and reserves the right to remove, edit or otherwise alter content that it deems inappropriate for any reason whatever without consent nor notice. We further reserve the right, in our sole discretion, to remove a user's privilege to post content on our site. IP Watch is not in any manner endorsing the content of the discussion forums and cannot and will not vouch for its reliability or otherwise accept liability for it.

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