Light Reading
10:50 AM Can two be better than one when it comes to LTE patent pools?

LTE Patent Pools: Two's a Crowd

Michelle Donegan
Wireless Bits
Michelle Donegan
11/5/2012
50%
50%

10:50 AM -- LTE patent pools are like buses: You wait for ages for one to arrive and then a couple come along at the same time.

The wireless industry now has two patent pools for Long Term Evolution (LTE) since Sisvel SpA announced today that it has launched its own, just one month after Via Licensing Corp. started the industry's first patent pool for the 4G standard. (See Sisvel Launches LTE Patent Pool and Carriers Plunge Into an LTE Patent Pool.)

Sisvel's portfolio of patents comes from Cassidian (an EADS company), the Chinese Academy of Telecommunications Technology , the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) , Orange (NYSE: FTE), TDF, KPN Telecom NV (NYSE: KPN) and patents that Sisvel acquired from Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) in late 2011. (See Sisvel Buys Nokia Patents and Euronews: Nokia Sells Patents.)

The company says it is open to any and all owners of essential LTE patents.

But it's puzzling to me how the industry will benefit from having two patent pools for LTE when the purpose of such an organization is to reduce the cost, complexity and uncertainty of licensing for operators, equipment suppliers and device makers -- and keep them out of court too. Having to do business with more than one pool adds an extra layer of complexity that I'm sure many in the industry would like to do without.

On the other hand, having two LTE patent pools is better than nothing.

As Florian Mueller, consultant and FOSS Patents blogger, puts it in an emailed response to my questions, "Two patent pools related to the same standard are not as good as one but better than none at all. The number of patent holders on each of today's cellular standards is so high that some kind of aggregation is in the interest of patentees as well as licensees."

But however many LTE patent pools crop up after Sisvel's and Via Licensing's, though, they will be limited by the lack of participation from the big LTE patent holders such as Samsung Corp. , Ericsson AB (Nasdaq: ERIC), Qualcomm Inc. (Nasdaq: QCOM), Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. or Nokia -- none of which have jumped in to either pool. (See LTE Patent Pool: No Diving! and Vendors Balk at LTE Patent Pool Proposal.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

(5)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
lynnettewrites
50%
50%
lynnettewrites,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:18:06 PM
re: LTE Patent Pools: Two's a Crowd


Sisvel and Via Licensing said they were creating patent pools back in 2009. What is different now? And what is the critical mass of patents required that make a patent pool a success? The big guys like QCOM and Ericsson won't be a part of these.

Michelle Donegan
50%
50%
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:18:04 PM
re: LTE Patent Pools: Two's a Crowd


I think what's different now is that these guys are actually doing patent pools rather than just talking about them. Both of them look quite small scale, looking at their memberships, so this is just a start. They definitely need more members to be more effective.


But they will be limited in what they can achieve so long as the big patent owners hold out, like Samsung, Ericsson, Qualcomm, etc.


 

Michelle Donegan
50%
50%
Michelle Donegan,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:58 PM
re: LTE Patent Pools: Two's a Crowd


Thanks, Roger. 


One of the differences between these two patent pools, then, is that Sisvel actually owns some of the patents in its pool -- the ones it acquired from Nokia. 


What's the likelihood that Via and Sisvel will eventually combine their patent pools? 

RogerVia
50%
50%
RogerVia,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:58 PM
re: LTE Patent Pools: Two's a Crowd

Roger Ross, President of Via Licensing here. Michelle is right about what is different now - we have created a patent pool that benefits the market by working with a broad representation of the industry (manufacturers, carriers, and inventors).

 

Since Via does not own patents, we avoid any bias and are in the best position to balance the interest of licensors and licensees allowing us to bring a RAND offering to the market.

 

The pool has launched with a compelling list of participants and simplifies access to essential IP (patents you must have rights to in order to build LTE products) with a single non-discriminatory agreement from Via. Of course, the more patent owners that chose to participate in the pool, the greater the benefit, but that does not diminish the fact that a patent pool such as the Via LTE pool is a tremendous benefit for LTE implementers. Reducing 10 patent licensing transactions (or more) to one is a significant savings of time and money even if there are companies whose essential patents must be resolved outside of the pool. 

 

The good news is that more companies with essential LTE patents will join the pool over time, creating greater efficiencies and setting a benchmark for LTE essential patent licensing which will influence litigation outcomes or bilateral negotiations. This will lead to more compliance with RAND obligations and reduced litigation which will lower the costs for LTE implementers and ultimately consumers. 

 

We believe that a single patent pool is best for the industry and consider what we have today to be a significant step towards achieving that goal. We look forward to sharing additional progress in the near future.   

RogerVia
50%
50%
RogerVia,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:56 PM
re: LTE Patent Pools: Two's a Crowd




Great question Michelle. We believe that ultimately Via’s program will be the sole LTE patent pool. Via’s program is open to all licensors including the companies participating in Sisvel’s program and we welcome them to join. If the licensors in Sisvel’s program were to join Via’s pool, then licensees would only need a license from the Via patent pool.  Since there is a possibility that one or more of the patents Sisvel acquired from Nokia may be LTE essential patents, they could join as well.  Because Via does not own patents, we remain unbiased in our ability to balance the needs of patent owners and LTE product implementers and ensure RAND licensing of LTE essential patents.

Licensees will benefit from this consolidation because they will have access to the necessary patents at a single price through a single transaction.

 

 




Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
More Blogs from Wireless Bits
Undercuts Huawei and ZTE in China Mobile 4G tender
CTO says vendor is seeking insight and inspiration from developer competitions
After a few months away, Sarah Reedy is back on the Light Reading team
Four new focus areas for NGMN Alliance highlight the key challenges facing mobile network operators in 2013
9:00 AM Smartphones have bigger mobile data appetites than tablets in Europe
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
Jonestown
Mobile Backhaul: Going to the Dark Side?

10|30|14   |   2:26   |   (1) comment


Heavy Reading's Patrick Donegan shares his view on a dark trend that bubbled up at Light Reading's annual backhaul conference in NYC.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With CEO of SwitchCom

10|30|14   |   4:13   |   (0) comments


SwitchCom, an IT company based in Angola, recommends a variety of Huawei solutions and hardware to their customers in the energy industry.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy

10|30|14   |   4:08   |   (0) comments


Gosaye Mengistie of Ethiopia's Ministry of Water Irrigation & Energy discusses the collaboration with Huawei in that country.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Dongfang Electronics Corporation

10|30|14   |   5:46   |   (0) comments


Dongfang Electronics Corporation, headquartered in Chengdu, China, is one of China's largest manufacturers of power generators and contractors of power station projects.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview with Zimbabwe's Customers

10|30|14   |   3:31   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Zimbabwe's Ministry of Power and Development discuss the energy needs of their country as well as new areas of improvement due to enhanced ICT capabilities.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Colbún Chile

10|30|14   |   4:29   |   (0) comments


In Chile, an aging energy infrastructure was in dire need of a modern update. Claudio Valenzuela of Colbún discusses how Huawei's ICT solutions continue to provide crucial information to improve the grid and how an in-country engineer is a cricial asset.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With YuLiao

10|30|14   |   6:27   |   (0) comments


Yu Liao, chairman of the Chinese Association for Renewable Energy in Germany, discusses the role that ICT solutions play in helping to grow renewable energy resources in Germany.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview

10|30|14   |   2:54   |   (0) comments


Sifang has been working with Huawei on several projects. JingTao Wu, Assistant President of Beijing Sifang Automation Co. Ltd., believes that the cooperation with Huawei can facilitate Sifang's process of internationalization.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
A Better Connected Smart Grid: Powering Laos

10|30|14   |   5:38   |   (0) comments


Representatives of Electricite Du Laos (EDL), a state-owned corporation, discuss the importance of ICT solutions in serving their country's energy needs.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
2014 Huawei Electric Power Industry Summit: Interview With Junwei Lu

10|30|14   |   4:50   |   (0) comments


Professor Junwei Lu of Griffith University Australia describes his work with micro grid technology and the future of the power industry.
LRTV Documentaries
The Next-Gen Network Disconnect

10|29|14   |   01:23   |   (2) comments


There's a lot of talk about making networks more simple with SDN, NFV and next-gen broadband technology – but what about the complexity of introducing such capabilities?
LRTV Custom TV
Grow Your VPN Service Revenue

10|27|14   |   4:00   |   (0) comments


Watch how CSP product managers can better differentiate and maximize the value of their Internet, VPN and cloud services for business services customers, by adding premium application performance visibility to their data services.
Upcoming Live Events
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 30, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Microsoft's Skype Embraces WebRTC on IE
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/27/2014
FTC Slaps AT&T With Throttling Lawsuit
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 10/28/2014
Wheeler Gets Down With OTT
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/29/2014
China's MVNOs Hit the Wall
Robert Clark, 10/27/2014
Let's Not Kill SDN & NFV With Silos
Francois Locoh-Donou, Senior VP, Global Products Group, Ciena, 10/28/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed