Nokia blasts Apple's nano-SIM proposal as 'attempt to devalue' rivals' IP

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) continued to fight against Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) in the struggle to define standard for nano-SIM cards, arguing that Apple does not own the patents to back up its proposal.

The European Telecommunications Standards Institute will vote on the rival proposals Thursday. Nokia's plan is backed by both Motorola Mobility (NYSE:MMI) and Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM). The ETSI requires that any patents needed for a new standard must be licensed under so-called fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.

According to Florian Mueller of the popular Foss Patents blog, Apple has submitted a proposal that would give the other handset makers royalty-free licenses to any Apple patents for its nano-SIM design, as long as Apple's proposal is adopted as a standard and that all other patent holders accept the same terms.

Nokia blasted that proposal, though, arguing Apple cannot possibly back it up. "We are not aware of any Apple intellectual property which it considers essential to its nano-SIM proposal," a Nokia spokesperson told IDG News Service. "In light of this, Apple's proposal for royalty-free licensing seems no more than an attempt to devalue the intellectual property of others."

Apple declined to comment, according to IDG.

Apple submitted a request to the ETSI in May 2011 to standardize its nano-SIM design, which would allow companies to free up more internal space in devices for other functions. Last year, AT&T Mobility (NYSE:T) CEO Ralph de la Vega said that making the SIM card smaller "is a no-brainer" and he believes that it will happen. France Telecom CEO Stephane Richard made similar comments as well, and said that the European telco was working with Apple on standardizing a smaller SIM card that balances operators' needs for security and authentication with Apple's desire to free up more internal space in the iPhone.

For more:
- see this IDG News Service article
- see this Foss Patents post
- see this The Verge article

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