Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum
I don't think FRAND is a legal definition -- as opposed to a body of legal precedents.
As I understand it, a company spends resources ($ and time) developing a technology -- like 3G. Then, to:
1) recover the cost of their investment
2) maintain their competive lead in the technology in question
They offer the tech as a FRAND standard.
...they can't maximize the bucks -- but they can pay the freight and maintain a tech lead.
Apple offered Darwin and WebKit as free (FRAND-like) tech to further the use of the tech -- because it was to Apple's advantage to do so.
But Apple, and others, can also develop tech that they believe provides them a significant advantage by not
making it available to others... Their choice.
So, the mixture of FRAND and non-FRAND claims is like trying to play basketball with a lacrosse net and a catchers mitt.
You can't have it both ways!
Let me rephrase my statement. FRAND is not exactly a legal designation. It is a licensing doctrine that applies to standards-essential patents. My statement was in reponse to a poster who claimed that people on this forum go gung ho when Apple sues with a patent but cry foul when other sue Apple, throwing around terms like FRAND.
Standards bodies create standards in order to ensure interoperability. Companies that contribute to standards with patents typically agree to license the patents under FRAND terms because the use of legal roadblocks will hinder the goal of interoperability based on the standard.
Apple has not sued using any standards-essential patents. However, Samsung and Motorola have done that. People are just telling it like it is.