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. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Whitepapers

Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.
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?
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.