Nokia took a negative view towards Apple’s move to grant royalty-free licences to rival companies for any patents essential to its proposed nano-SIM card technology, reports IDG News Service.
Apple said it will allow access to the IP provided it is adopted as a standard and other patent holders reciprocate, according to a FOSS Patents source.
However, a Nokia spokesperson said that as Apple doesn’t currently have any essential patents related to the nano-SIM proposal, its offer is meaningless. The spokesperson added that this makes Apple’s proposals seem like “an attempt to devalue the intellectual property of others,” IDG said.
It was suggested that if Apple did possess essential patents, ETSI would request them to be licensed under fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms, rather than on a royalty-free basis, if they were to become a standard.
Apple and Nokia are both attempting to make their own approaches the standard for the next generation of SIM cards, which will be an important step in the miniaturisation of smartphones. A decision on which design will be adopted is expected to be made by ETSI this week.
Nokia, along with Motorola Mobility and RIM (which has a third nano-SIM design, according to The Verge), were reported last week to be opposing Apple’s plan.
Nokia claims its proposal has “significant technical advantages” over Apple’s. It has different dimensions to today’s micro-SIM cards, whereas the Apple version is the same length as the width of the current model. Nokia argues that Apple’s version could easily be jammed if forced into devices, going against an ETSI requirement.
The Apple proposal also requires a loading tray, which would be more expensive to make and would take up more room in the device, mitigating the benefits of having a smaller card.
Despite these issues The Financial Times has suggested that Apple’s approach is favoured by the majority of European operators.