Smartphone Wars Arms Race - FRAND Limitations on Patent Deployment

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The patent wars raging in the global technology sector show no signs of a ceasefire. If anything, the tempo is increasing. The sector is currently seeing a wave of acquisitions of massive multi-billion dollar patent portfolios covering smartphones and computer tablets, driven by their purchasers’ desire to equip themselves with ammunition in the increasingly vicious battle for global supremacy over mobile platforms.

One of the significant features of telecoms patents is the complex interlocking network of technical standards and the availability of FRAND patent licences (i.e. licence terms that are ‘‘fair, reasonable and non- discriminatory’’). These could have a number of vital strategic implications for the combatants in the current patent wars, which could dramatically reshape the out- comes and determine the ultimate global victors in the mobile platform wars.

These are discussed in the article.

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