Jul 21st, 2012

Google has for long stated that the current software patents scene needs a serious revamp, and in a letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, they have singled out Apple, stating that some of the Cupertino-based company’s patents be made standards.

While collaborative [Standards Setting Organizations (SSOs)] play an important part in the overall standard setting system, and are particularly prominent in industries such as telecommunications, they are not the only source of standards. Indeed, many of the same interoperability benefits that the FTC and others have touted in the SSO context also occur when one firm publishes information about an otherwise proprietary standard and other firms then independently decide (whether by choice or of necessity) to make complementary investments to support that standard in their products. … Because proprietary or de facto standards can have just as important effects on consumer welfare, the Committee’s concern regarding the abuse of SEPs should encompass them as well.

Apple, as you’d expect, don’t want anything of the sort and have countered with a letter of their own. They believe they have put in a lot of effort to innovate in their field, and are hence justified to patent certain features and designs, and oppose the infringement of those patents via litigation. If you want to read both the letters, head over to AllThingsD.

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