Feeds

UK Ministry of Defence eyes GPS patent payoff

US cries foul over inventor’s ‘insider’ status

Intelligent flash storage arrays

A British patent is causing jitter in the GPS community, as the Ministry of Defence looking to satellite navigation vendors for royalties.

The patent, Modulation signals for a satellite navigation system, describes “a method for generating a subcarrier modulation signal for modulating a further signal, the method involving multiplexing or selectively combining portions for first and second subcarriers to produce the subcarrier modulation signal”.

The application carries a priority date of 2003.

According to this US report in Inside GNSS, the Ministry is seeking royalties from GPS receiver vendors via a subsidiary with the wonderfully Philip K Dickian name “Ploughshare Innovations”. The report says Ploughshare has been “approaching GPS manufacturers for roughly a year”.

While the patent has been granted in the UK, it is still running through the application process in America, and is currently still under review after a rejection notice.

One of the inventors named on the application, Tony Pratt, is on the Inside GNSS editorial advisory council.

Pratt, a consultant to the British government in the development of the Galileo satellite system, describes Galileo’s frequency and signal design in this 2003 article.

He and the other inventor named in the patent, John Owen, were members of the European Galileo Signal Task Force. According to Inside GNSS, unnamed sources are complaining that the MoD may have exploited Pratt’s insider status to craft the patent.

The task force’s work is designed to make Galileo and GPS Block III satellites (due for launch in 2014) compatible. The modulation scheme now claimed by the MoD was recommended for adoption by Europe and the USA back in 2006, by the GPS-Galileo Working Group on Interoperability and Compatibility. ®

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
The 'fun-nification' of computer education – good idea?
Compulsory code schools, luvvies love it, but what about Maths and Physics?
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
Lords take revenge on REVENGE PORN publishers
Jilted Johns and Jennies with busy fingers face two years inside
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Ex-US Navy fighter pilot MIT prof: Drones beat humans - I should know
'Missy' Cummings on UAVs, smartcars and dying from boredom
Yes, yes, Steve Jobs. Look what I'VE done for you lately – Tim Cook
New iPhone biz baron points to Apple's (his) greatest successes
Sysadmin with EBOLA? Gartner's issued advice to debug your biz
Start hoarding cleaning supplies, analyst firm says, and assume your team will scatter
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
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.
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.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.