GPC's Alexander Poltorak commented on a request from the European Commission for information from Apple and Samsung regarding standards-essential patents in the mobile telephony sector ("EU Asks Tech Giants for Patent Details", Wall Street Journal, November 4, 2011 - subscription required). Standards-essential patents are those which relate to an area of technology crucial to compliance with an industry standard, such as WiFi or 3G.
Article excerpt: "The fundamental question of a patent is whether it really represents a monopoly; it's a question which has been struggled with since medieval times," said Alexander I. Poltorak, Chief Executive of General Patent Corporation, an intellectual property firm. "And the one exception to that rule is the standards-essential patent, where patent law becomes intertwined with antitrust law."
"Everybody's looking for standards-essential patents," the former Columbia University School of Business lecturer said, noting the recent bidding war for Nortel Networks' patents, which reached $4.5 billion.
"They think they're the holy grail."