IBM, Microsoft and Apple have each been accused of withholding
interface information. Over the years, antitrust complaints were
made against all three. But do we need a new approach? Do we need
an intellectual property law to assist interoperability?12 Sep 2006
OUT-LAW is exploring the case for a law that would force companies to license interface information on commercially-reasonable terms to allow interoperability.
This is not a plan to replace competition laws, which focus on a company that abuses a dominant position. This is not replacing reverse-engineering rights, which are qualified – and reverse-engineering can be an inexact science. This is not a challenge to patentability, either. If you develop an interface that's eligible for a patent, go ahead – but license it to others on reasonable commercial terms.
We want your view.
- You might be a software firm that was refused interface information by another company. You might have designed an innovative interface and feel it is your right to keep rivals out.
- You might be an iTunes user who wants to play purchased music on a Walkman; or you might feel that Apple has every right to keep downloads exclusive to iPods.
What do you think of this statement: It should be possible to force companies to license interface information on commercially-reasonable terms to allow interoperability.
|Form builder plug-in |
*If you prefer, you can email your comments to our editor: email@example.com.
For avoidance of doubt, this statement does not reflect the view of Pinsent Masons. We are simply doing some research.