Apple, Samsung, Google and others meet with UN for patent licensing pow-wow

Apple, Google, Samsung and others meet today – not in a courtroom but in neutral Switzerland. The discussion, moderated by the UN’s International Telecommunications Union, focuses on whether the key principal of patent licensing is preventing products from coming to market.

The talks follow Apple and Samsung high-profile patent dispute and the EU investigating whether a number of companies are abusing the patent guidelines…

RAND – “reasonable and non-discriminatory” patent licensing is at the heart of today’s pow-wow. According to the UN, the talks will assess the effectiveness of patent cases often based on the definition of RAND.

The BBC is reporting the discussions could result in changes to patent rules “so that products cannot be blocked on the basis of standard-essential patent disputes.” Apple and Microsoft are among the companies looking to change the rules. Android-maker Google is also calling for patent reform. Just recently, the Mountain View, Calif. Internet giant expressed frustration over the continued patent wars.

Although we won’t know if any agreement is arrived on patent licensing, RAND is increasingly becoming a point of contention among companies. What is reasonable for Apple may not be viewed as such by Samsung, for example.

What do you think? Are patent squabbles straying too far from the actual technology, often resulting in wrangles over defining what is “reasonable” in terms of patent licensing?