Apple wants the industry to adopt their ultra-mini SIM card technology as the new standard. To get what they want they are offering royalty-free licensing of the “nano-SIM” card. If approved, the company will pave the way to more compact and efficiently designed iOS devices.
Last week, The Financial Times reported that Apple was in a battle with Motorola Mobility, Research In Motion and Nokia over proposed standards for the “nano-SIM” card, which is one-third smaller than the current standard micro-SIM card.
Their fear is that adopting the new standards would allow Apple to claim ownership of the technology and subsequently force others to pay for licensing it.
Today, Foss Patents claimed that a reliable source showed a letter, written by a senior Apple lawyer, which puts all of those fears to rest. The letter to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) apparently makes Apple’s motives clear by stating an “Unequivocal commitment to grant royalty-free licenses to any Apple patents essential to nano-SIM, provided that Apple’s proposal is adopted as a standard and that all other patents holders accept the same terms in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.”
Obviously, Apple really wants the nano-SIM card to be the new standard. The company is not known for giving out licenses for its technology all willy-nilly like this. They definitely want to make significant changes to the way SIM cards are made and are willing to bend over backward to get the rest of the industry on board.
According to Foss Patents, Apple doesn’t like it when other companies don’t play ball when it comes to standard-essential patents. The company filed a complaint against Motorola Mobility for abuse of them. In another Apple letter to the ETSI, the company “takes a clear ‘no injunction’ position on standards-essential patents.”
It looks like Apple may be planning a preemptive defense against any possible patent lawsuits that may arise in the future if tech companies don’t want to accept Apple’s nano-SIM card as a standard, but want to put it in their devices without licensing it from them. Smart move Apple.
[via Apple Insider]