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ITU plans summit to address rampant patent litigation

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), a part of the United Nations, has announced plans for a roundtable in Geneva on October 10, 2012. The purpose of the gathering is to address the surge of patent litigation and lack of adherence to standards bodies’ patent policies. These actions are leading to more instances of markets being blocked and high-profile cases of goods being impounded at docks. The roundtable discussion will include standards organizations, key industry players, and government officials.

According to Dr. Hamadoun Touré, ITU Secretary General, “…patents are meant to encourage innovation, not stifle it. Acknowledging patent holders and user requirements, as well as market needs, is a balancing act.” A key issue to be addressed is the relevance of reasonable and non-discriminatory (RAND) patent policies, especially with respect to the question of what is “reasonable?” Several parties who commented on the planned roundtable also mention the need to maintain a balance between the needs of implementors of standard essential patents (SEP) and the needs of inventors so they will continue to contribute their inventions to standards.

Do you think a roundtable will help the industry get control over the growing patent litigation problem? Could we at least see a reduction in the cases of products being banned or held up from markets?

source: ITU
via: Engadget


About the Author: Jeff Causey

Raised in North Carolina, Jeff Causey is a licensed CPA in North Carolina. Jeff's past Android devices include an HTC EVO, a Samsung Note II, and an LG G3 along with a Samsung Galaxy Tablet 10.1. He currently uses a Motorola Moto X Pure Edition and (very rarely) a Nexus 7 (2013). He is also using a Verizon-branded Motorola Moto Z Play Droid supplied by his job. Jeff used to have a pair of Google Glass and a Moto 360 Sport in his stable of gadgets. Unfortunately, his wife and kids have all drunk the Apple Kool-Aid and have i-devices. Life at home often includes demonstrations of the superiority of his Android based devices. In his free time, Jeff is active in his church, a local MINI Cooper car club, and his daughter's soccer club. Jeff is married, has three kids, and a golden retriever.


  • sn0wbaLL

    Will this also affect US, or Europe only?

  • Chris

    Everyone in the UN is a member, so it covers most countries.

    Its about time someone stood up to Apple. I find it quite amusing that the ITU General secretary said that the whole idea of patents was to encourage innovation not stifle it.

    Which is what most people with an ounce of sense have been saying all along. Hopefully this is a sign that the ITU will come down hard on Apple and their BS anti competitiveness games.