A Roadmap to the Smartphone Patent Wars and FRAND Licensing

CPI Antitrust Chronicle, Vol. 2, April 2012

7 Pages Posted: 4 May 2012

Date Written: May 3, 2012


The smartphone industry today is characterized by a thicket of patents and wars based on those patents. Every day brings a new lawsuit or development between Apple, HTC, Microsoft, Motorola, Nokia, and Samsung. The lawsuits span numerous courts and several continents.

This 5-page article attempts to make sense of the chaos, with a particular emphasis on standards and reasonable licensing ("FRAND") terms. It summarizes court rulings on whether injunctions should be granted on "standard essential patents" and "non-standard essential patents." And it discusses the European Commission investigations of Motorola and Samsung, and the Department of Justice’s approval of the patent portfolio acquisitions of Novell, Nortel, and Motorola.

Keywords: Smartphones, patents, patent wars, standards, RAND, FRAND, antitrust

JEL Classification: K21, L40, L41, L63, O34

Suggested Citation

Carrier, Michael A., A Roadmap to the Smartphone Patent Wars and FRAND Licensing (May 3, 2012). CPI Antitrust Chronicle, Vol. 2, April 2012, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2050743

Michael A. Carrier (Contact Author)

Rutgers Law School ( email )

217 North Fifth Street
Camden, NJ 08102-1203
United States
856-225-6380 (Phone)
856-225-6516 (Fax)

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