Apple offers royalty-free license to nano-SIM patents, a proposed standard backed by most European carriers

“Last week, the Financial Times reported that Apple is at loggerheads with Motorola Mobility, RIM and Nokia over a proposed standard called ‘nano-SIM,’ a further miniaturization of the smart cards now known as ‘micro-SIM’ cards,” Florian Mueller reports for FOSS Patents. “Nano-SIM cards would be thinner and considerably smaller than micro-SIM cards. Apple has the support of ‘most of the European operators,’ according to the FT. The two camps are heading for a showdown later this week (on Thursday and Friday) at the Smart Card Platform Plenary meeting of the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) in Sophia Antipolis (Southern France).”
“A perfectly reliable source that I can’t disclose has shown me a letter dated March 19, 2012 that a senior Apple lawyer sent to ETSI,” Mueller reports. “The letter addresses the primary concern of critics of the proposal. The FT said that ‘the Apple-led proposal has caused some concern among its rivals that the US group might eventually own the patents.’ But Apple’s letter has removed this roadblock, if it ever was any, through 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 patent holders accept the same terms in accordance with the principle of reciprocity.”

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