Apple Reiterates Commitment to FRAND Licensing of Standards-Essential Patents Following Intel Deal

In light of its acquisition of the majority of Intel's smartphone modem business earlier this year, including many cellular patents, Apple has shared a letter on its website to reiterate its stance on fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory or FRAND licensing terms for standards-essential patents.

Intel 5G Modem
Apple says it values intellectual property and recognizes the important role of developing industry standards, noting that its engineers participate in over 100 standard-setting organizations. Apple touts its own contributions to a wide range of standards, including, for example, cellular, Wi-Fi, and USB-C.

Apple adds that it has "long sought to bring a balanced perspective to the promises and perils of standardization" and is committed to licensing its own cellular standards-essential patents on FRAND terms.

Apple believes owners of standards-essential patents should make licenses available on FRAND terms to any and all interested parties that request a license, adding that standards-essential patent licensees should not be forced to take bundled or portfolio licenses as part of an agreement.

There should also be an objective, reasonable royalty rate that applies equally to all standards-essential licensees, according to Apple.

Following its agreement with Intel, Apple said it would hold over 17,000 wireless technology patents, ranging from protocols for cellular standards to modem architecture and modem operation. Apple is widely expected to release its first 5G-enabled iPhones with Qualcomm modems in 2020.

Tag: Intel

Top Rated Comments

CarlJ Avatar
15 months ago

Companies love to make these self-righteous (Public Relations) statements about technologies being part of an "open standard". Feel good phrases like "reasonable royalty rates" ... yea right :rolleyes:

Permanently-angry forum members on MacRumors love to make these self-righteous posts about every little thing Apple does (after going out of their way to visit a site dedicated to announcing every little thing that Apple does) :rolleyes:. FRAND is a thing, it helps make our modern communications networks possible, Apple is part of it, "reasonable royalty rates" is wording commonly associated with FRAND. Nothing to see here, and noting to get all eye-rolly about.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jayducharme Avatar
15 months ago


If Apple isn't actively using all the patents, does that make them "patent trolls" ?

Only if they begin suing other companies indiscriminately.

Acquiring Intel's patents was a smart move on Apple's part, a nice ace up their sleeve now that they have to work exclusively with Qualcomm.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
calzon65 Avatar
15 months ago
Companies love to make these self-righteous (Public Relations) statements about technologies being part of an "open standard". Feel good phrases like "reasonable royalty rates" ... yea right :rolleyes:
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MikhailT Avatar
15 months ago


If Apple isn't actively using all the patents, does that make them "patent trolls" ?

As long they're not standard-dependent and if they are, then as long as they can be licensed to anyone and on FRAND basis; they're not patent trolls (yet). The problem is, FRAND is voluntary.

Pretty much all companies have excess stock of patents that they don't use, they're not called patent trolls because of that.

Patent trolls are the ones that has the clear intentions to buying patents (or a specific patent that they know a specific company need) in order to profit off them by "suing" companies for not paying a specific amount that is not FRAND or reasonable.

As for software patents, they're a joke and never should've been patentable in the first place.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Rigby Avatar
15 months ago


As long they're not standard-dependent and if they are, then as long as they can be licensed to anyone and on FRAND basis; they're not patent trolls (yet). The problem is, FRAND is voluntary.

Not really. When joining standardization bodies such as 3GPP, companies commit to disclosing standards-essential patents and making them available under FRAND terms.

Pretty much all companies have excess stock of patents that they don't use, they're not called patent trolls because of that.

Yep. The number of patents a company holds, whether they are actually used or not, is often an important factor in negotiating cross-licensing agreements and settlement terms in patent litigations. The Intel patents strengthen Apple's position versus other major patent holders such as Qualcomm and Samsung (some of which are very litigation-happy).
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
macfacts Avatar
15 months ago


As long they're not standard-dependent and if they are, then as long as they can be licensed to anyone and on FRAND basis; they're not patent trolls (yet). The problem is, FRAND is voluntary.

Pretty much all companies have excess stock of patents that they don't use, they're not called patent trolls because of that.

Patent trolls are the ones that has the clear intentions to buying patents (or a specific patent that they know a specific company need) in order to profit off them by "suing" companies for not paying a specific amount that is not FRAND or reasonable.

As for software patents, they're a joke and never should've been patentable in the first place.

There is nothing, legally or morally, wrong with being a patent troll. It has the stigma because of the name, troll. The original inventor sold the patent. The new owner can do whatever they want.

Or do you think the original creator can sell it and still use it? Like Taylor Swift selling her songs and then complaining that she can sing them anymore.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iphone 5s black slate

Images of Unreleased iPhone 5s in Black and Slate Shared Online

Sunday January 17, 2021 9:47 am PST by
Twitter user @DongleBookPro has today shared images of a prototype iPhone 5s in an unreleased Black and Slate color. The iPhone 5s was launched in September 2013. The device featured Touch ID, a 64-bit processor, and a True Tone LED flash for the first time. Other new features included a five-element lens with an f/2.2 aperture, a 15 percent larger camera sensor, Burst Mode, and Slo-Mo...
iP12 charge airpods feature 2

Hidden iPhone 12 Hardware Feature Could Still be Unlocked

Thursday January 14, 2021 2:51 am PST by
All iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models purportedly have a hidden reverse wireless charging feature, according to an FCC filing. The feature has not yet been activated, but could yet be unlocked for an upcoming Apple accessory. The FCC filing suggests that iPhone 12 models contain the hardware for Wireless Power Transfer (WPT) to accessories: In addition to being able to be charged by a...
Top Stories 43 Feature

Top Stories: MacBook Pro, iMac, Mac Pro, and iPhone Rumors, Best of CES 2021

Saturday January 16, 2021 6:00 am PST by
This week was sure a busy one in the Apple world, with a flurry of announcements out of CES early in the week followed by a rash of Mac- and iPhone-related rumors later in the week. The new rumors this week included details on updated MacBook Pro, iMac, and Mac Pro models, as well as a few other tidbits, so make sure to read on below to get caught up! Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to...
foldable iPhone concept feature

Apple Testing In-Display Fingerprint Sensor for iPhone 13, Foldable iPhone Also in the Works

Friday January 15, 2021 1:46 pm PST by
Apple has started "early work" on an iPhone that has a foldable display, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Though testing of a foldable iPhone has begun, Apple has not committed to releasing a device that has a foldable display. Development has not yet expanded beyond a display and Apple does not have full foldable iPhone prototypes in its labs. Like foldable...
16inchmacbookpromain

Kuo: New MacBook Pro Models to Feature Flat-Edged Design, MagSafe, No Touch Bar and More Ports

Thursday January 14, 2021 9:32 pm PST by
Apple is working on two new MacBook Pro models that will feature significant design changes, well-respected Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said today in a note to investors that was obtained by MacRumors. According to Kuo, Apple is developing two models in 14 and 16-inch size options. The new MacBook Pro machines will feature a flat-edged design, which Kuo describes as "similar to the iPhone 12" ...
macbook pro flexgate

Apple Extends 13-Inch MacBook Pro Backlight Repair Program

Sunday January 17, 2021 10:31 am PST by
Apple this week extended its worldwide 13-inch MacBook Pro Display Backlight Service Program, authorizing coverage for eligible notebooks for up to five years after the original purchase date or up to three years after the start date of the program, whichever is longer. The previous cutoff was four years after the original purchase date. Apple launched the program on May 21, 2019 after...
iphone x camera close

iOS 14.4 Will Introduce Warning on iPhones With Non-Genuine Cameras

Thursday January 14, 2021 8:07 am PST by
In the second beta of iOS 14.4 seeded to developers and public testers this week, MacRumors contributor Steve Moser has discovered code indicating that Apple will be introducing a new warning on iPhones that have had their camera repaired or replaced with aftermarket components rather than genuine Apple components. "Unable to verify this iPhone has a genuine Apple camera," the message will...
Apple TV Ray Light 2 Triad

Apple Extends Free Apple TV+ Trials Until July

Friday January 15, 2021 10:50 am PST by
Apple is once again planning to extend its free Apple TV+ trial subscriptions, this time until July. When Apple TV+ launched in November 2019, Apple offered free Apple TV+ subscriptions to those who purchased a new Apple device in or after September 2019. Those free subscriptions were set to expire in November 2020, but in October 2020, Apple announced that it was extending free trials...
mac pro mini feature

Apple Working on Two New Mac Pro Desktops, One of Which Will Be Reminiscent of Power Mac G4 Cube

Friday January 15, 2021 10:23 am PST by
Apple is developing two versions of the Mac Pro to succeed the Mac Pro that was first released in December 2019, according to a new report from Bloomberg. The first updated Mac Pro is a direct successor to the current Mac Pro and it will use the same design. It may also be equipped with Intel processors rather than Apple silicon chips, and it could be one of the sole machines in the Mac...
macbook pro magsafe

MagSafe is Coming Back to the Mac: A Look Back at Apple's Original Magnetic Charging Technology

Friday January 15, 2021 12:16 pm PST by
Surprise late night rumors last night provided us with our first in-depth look at what we can expect from the new MacBook Pro models that are coming in 2021, and there are some significant changes in the works. Along with additional ports, a new flat-edged design, and the removal of the Touch Bar, Apple's updated MacBook Pro machines will readopt MagSafe. MagSafe in the 2021 MacBook Pro...