Feeds

Cover your 4G LTE legal arse for just 79p per mobe

Dive in to the patent pool party, the people are FRANDly

Best practices for enterprise data

A second patent pool is now open for business and touting licences to anyone making devices featuring next-gen mobile broadband LTE. It's hoped this will simplify the design process and make LTE devices cheaper, eventually.

The new pool comes from Sisvel, which bought 350 essential telecommunications patents from Nokia earlier this year and has combined those with properties from EADS, the China Academy of Telecommunication Technology and France Telecom among others. It is asking for €0.99 per handset to use the protected designs, which is a bargain compared to the $3 Via Licensing is billing for its aggregation of intellectual property.

Patent pools, formed when companies get together to license their tech rather than sue each other into oblivion, are essential to most modern technologies: the ownership of something as simple as the MP2 codec is still covered by more than 500 patents (a similar number have expired) spread across 14 companies, so anyone creating MP2 software will be pleased to know they can license them all in one go from the MPEG LA patent pool.

The MPEG LA was in the frame for an LTE pool at one point, but seems to have dropped out of the running for the moment, leaving Via Licensing and Sisvel to recruit intellectual property holders and remind everyone that the patents they manage are "essential" - meaning that it is impossible to make a device complying with the LTE standard without paying the requisite fees.

Most manufacturers will end up paying both fees, although they are generally able to go direct to the patent holders instead, ideally engaging in some patent trading rather than cash payments. Sisvel's purchase of Nokia's LTE patent pile precludes that.

The essential patents are also covered by fair, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) agreements, which require them to be licensed in a tolerable fashion and this is generally what the pools do.

More damaging are patents owed by companies not signed up to FRAND and yet end up being "essential" to a communications standard - such as those owned by IPCom which continues to battle Nokia for licence fees.

IPCom has no interest in FRAND or cross-licensing as its stated business model is to squeeze all the money it can from the patents purchased it from Bosch. Sisvel and Via Licensing are both trying to reduce the complexity of patent negotiations, although their rates and portfolios do demonstrate how intellectual property makes up an increasing proportion of the price we pay for our toys. ®

Recommendations for simplifying OS migration

More from The Register

next story
Trying to sell your house? It'd better have KILLER mobile coverage
More NB than transport links to next-gen buyers - study
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Auntie remains MYSTIFIED by that weekend BBC iPlayer and website outage
Still doing 'forensics' on the caching layer – Beeb digi wonk
Scotland's BIG question: Will independence cost me my broadband?
They can take our lives, but they'll never take our SPECTRUM
NBN Co adds apartments to FTTP rollout
Commercial trial locations to go live in September
Samsung Z Tizen OS mobe is post-phoned – this time for good?
Russian launch for Sammy's non-droid knocked back
Speak your brains on SIGNAL-FREE mobile comms
Readers chat to the pair who flog the tech
prev story

Whitepapers

7 Elements of Radically Simple OS Migration
Avoid the typical headaches of OS migration during your next project by learning about 7 elements of radically simple OS migration.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
A new approach to endpoint data protection
What is the best way to ensure comprehensive visibility, management, and control of information on both company-owned and employee-owned devices?