LTE Patent Pool: No Diving!

7:50 AM An effective LTE patent pool looks increasingly unlikely

Michelle Donegan, Contributing Editor, Light Reading

October 3, 2011

2 Min Read
LTE Patent Pool: No Diving!

7:50 AM -- Following Light Reading Mobile's report that some large equipment vendors are not very enthusiastic about proposals for a Long Term Evolution (LTE) patent pool, a leading industry analyst tells us there are many more reasons why companies won't dive in to such a pooling arrangement. (See Vendors Balk at LTE Patent Pool Proposal.)

According to Keith Mallinson, founder of the WiseHarbor consulting firm, the problems with an LTE patent pool are quite fundamental and go beyond the disagreements resulting from disparate interests among vendors.

"None of the major players is willing to make such a commitment for mobile phones and network equipment," stated Mallinson in an email to Light Reading Mobile.

"They want the autonomy to do bilateral deals with different terms for each counterparty and maximum flexibility to use their patents in litigation. The 3G patent pool was a flop and there’s no reason why LTE pooling should be any different," he added.

"Another point is that there are major differences in opinion about how to value patents among major owners, who are unwilling to delegate valuation authority to a third party," he continued. "They'd rather thrash things out bilaterally with the support of their public relations machines helping argue what is the best way to value and who has most IPR."

And hearing Mallinson's take on the issue I'm more inclined to think an LTE patent pool just isn't going to happen, or at least not in an effective way.

It also looks more certain that the efforts of operator-led groups such as the Next Generation Mobile Networks (NGMN) Ltd. Alliance to rally the industry into creating an LTE patent pool won't be rewarded as they would like. (See LTE Group Seeks Patent Pool Info and Patent Group Tackles 4G Sans Qualcomm.)

— Michelle Donegan, European Editor, Light Reading Mobile

About the Author(s)

Michelle Donegan

Contributing Editor, Light Reading

Michelle Donegan is an independent technology writer who has covered the communications industry on both sides of the Pond for the past twenty years.

Her career began in Chicago in 1993 when Telephony magazine launched an international title, aptly named Global Telephony. Since then, she has upped sticks (as they say) to the UK and has written for various publications, including Communications Week International, Total Telecom, Light Reading, Telecom Titans and more.

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