In an apparent fit of sanity, large players in the Telecom field, under the aegis of the International Telecommunications Union, specialized agency of the United Nations which is responsible for information and communication technologies, will be convening a high-level roundtable among standards organizations and mobile device manufacturers with the stated goal of removing barriers to continued mobile innovation.
It is anticipated that the talks will include discussion of reasonable and non-discriminatory patent policies, royalties issues, and IP enforcement. Among those already signed on to participate in the October talks are Apple, Microsoft, Motorola, and Samsung, to name a few.
While not a panacea for the toxic combination of rigidity in existing IP protection laws and the vogue trend of destructive patent litigation by participating and non-participating entities alike, this represents a significant opportunity to de-escalate the current patent wars and to move towards a more rational state of business where it possible to both protect IP and permit true, robust, and pervasive innovation. I continue to believe that changes to existing IP laws are a crucial part of this process, but industry consensus and buy-in are likewise vital (and perhaps a necessary first-step) to reaching a more rational balancing of interests.