Apple has delivered a letter to the European Telecommunications Standards Institute asking for basic principles for that region of the world on patents and their licensing, according to the Wall Street Journal. The letter asks for consistency across the board in how patents are owned and shared, and it also asks for specific rates to be set on possible patent royalties for everyone to follow.
As smartphones and other mobile technology continue to develop and grow, patents on the many components are becoming increasingly more important, both in terms of determining ownership for the research and work put into development and for the licensing fees afforded to those with high profile patents. Apple obviously has good reason to see standards in this area, given how well-heeled it happens to be in the world of patents and innovations.
We'll have to wait and see if the board decides to set up a program of standards as Apple suggests. Even if the board agrees to set standards for these things, it could be a long time before those standards are actually decided on and published.