Feeds

RFID patent pool prices up wireless

0.08 cents per tag

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

The RFID Consortium has opened for business after five years of negotiations, providing a one-stop shop for all the patents needed to manufacture RFID tags and readers.

The negotiations were drawn out by the large number of patents involved and concerns that a single pool might attract attention from anti-trust regulators. But now anyone wanting to create RFID tags can do so with a single licence from the Consortium, with an early bird discount price of 80 cents per thousand tags in place until March next year.

That discount also applies to RFID readers, which will cost $5 in royalty payments, split between the eight companies who make up the Consortium. There's no guarantee however that other patent negotiations won't be needed - Intermec, for example, is not a member despite having considerable intellectual holdings in the industry.

But it should make life easier for those considering embedded RFID tags into products - instead of having to negotiate prices, duration and conditions with eight separate companies the licensee can just pay one fee to the Consortium.

The pool approach is exemplified by the MPEG LA, which was set up to provide a single licence for video codecs. These days the MPEG LA holds patent pools for half a dozen video formats, and is trying to gather patent holders to create a pool for LTE.

The process is not always successful - an attempt to create a patent pool for OMA DRM Version 2 resulted in a proposed price of $1 per handset and one cent for every download. Handset manufacturers refused to pay, and while a few negotiated directly with the patent holders to get a cheaper rate, in many cases the technology just didn't get deployed.

One can argue that handset DRM wasn't going to fly at any price, but the high rate demanded by the MPEG LA killed off the technology before it had a chance to fail on its own merits.

The prices being asked by the RFID Consortium seem more reasonable, and RFID Journal reckons the new licensing won't affect the price of tags, but will bring them to market quicker. ®

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Virgin Media struck dumb by NATIONWIDE packet loss balls-up
Turning it off and on again fixes glitch 12 HOURS LATER
BEST EVER broadband? Oh no you DIDN'T, Sky – ad watchdog
Rival BT moaned that claim was misleading
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Getting ahead of the compliance curve
Learn about new services that make it easy to discover and manage certificates across the enterprise and how to get ahead of the compliance curve.
Top 5 reasons to deploy VMware with Tegile
Data demand and the rise of virtualization is challenging IT teams to deliver storage performance, scalability and capacity that can keep up, while maximizing efficiency.