UN roundtable tackles wireless patent disputes between Apple, Samsung, others

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Apple was joined by Google, Microsoft, Samsung and others in a meeting in Switzerland on Wednesday that discussed the potential patent litigation reform in the lawsuit-saturated wireless industry.

The discussion, organized by the United Nations International Telecommunications Union, aimed to tackle the implications of patent litigation in the wireless industry. Intellectual property expert Florian Mueller of FOSS Patents followed the first two sessions, who said the discussions made clear that the industry is "deeply divided" over standard-essential patents.

The two main issues in the discussion, Mueller explained, are injunctive relief over standard-essential patents, and the appropriate royalty base. The meetings are a result of concerns on the part of regulators, who hope to take action before matters become even worse.

"There were no winners or losers today because they all contributed to a timely, well-organized and informative event," Mueller said. "In a way, today's winner was the ITU."

The discussions will not stop with Wednesday's roundtable. The group plans to continue to have a number of informal meetings over the next 12 months in an effort to form proposals.

"The ITU considers itself uniquely positioned, thanks to its vast experience in resolving global issues, to provide a forum in which a constructive change of thoughts may lead to a compromise," he said. "That said, I still believe that judicial and regulatory decisions will be needed."

In addition to major players like Apple, Google, Microsoft and Samsung, other companies that participated in the discussions were Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Philips, Research in Motion, Qualcomm and Sony.


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