IEEE to set up patent pools to simplify standards adoption

The IEEE plans to set up "patent pool" licensing programs to get the standards it defines developed into products more quickly and cheaply.

New technologies could be developed into products more quickly and cheaply if new "patent pool" licensing programs set up by the IEEE Standards Association are a success.

Companies contributing to any Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers technology standard will be encouraged to define and share a single "pooled" licence fee for all the intellectual property (IP) involved, instead of negotiating multiple separate fees, according to the announcement by the IEEE Standards Association, a significant source of standards for data networking -- and the first formal standards body to set a patent pool program.

The pools will be administered by Via Licensing Corporation, which already handles numerous patent pools, including one for the IEEE's 802.11 wireless LAN standards, and one for the AAC audio compression technology used in Apple's iPod.

The move could make IEEE standards cheaper and easier to implement, and possibly help standards such as WiMax (IEEE 802.16), which faces competition from LTE (Long Term Evolution), a mobile telecommunications standard. "We believe that there is likely a need for patent pools for both WiMax and LTE," said Jason Johnson, vice president of marketing and business development for Via.

"Nothing in the standards process is going to change," said Edward J. Rashba, director of new business ventures for the IEEE Standards Association. "Patent pooling becomes relevant after the standard has been approved, and will increase the speed to market."

"The number of patents filed is increasing, and so is the number of patent lawsuits," said Johnson. "We hear a lot about big lawsuits, but manufacturers have to deal with thousands of private transactions. Joint licensing problems reduce the cost and complexity as equipment makers have to write one cheque." The pools will include international patents for all countries where products are likely to be made.

"This kind of move by the IEEE could be a very clever one for the future," said patent attorney David Pearce, a contributor to the IPkat blog (http://ipkitten.blogspot.com/). "It might be a possible way of avoiding future litigation for anyone complying with an IEEE standard, provided all interested parties are informed about it in advance and given the chance to get their share of any licence fees for the proposed standard."

"This will create a level playing field for everyone," said Stefan Geyersberger, head of IP licensing for audio and multimedia, at the Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, a German society of research institutes famous as creator of the MP3 compression technology. "If you have individual arrangements and no pool, it is hard to tell what you have to pay for a product."

Via Licensing Corporation specializes in patent pools, and is part of Dolby Laboratories, source of the well-known audio noise-reduction system.

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags licensingintellectual propertyIEEE

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Peter Judge

Unknown Publication
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Kurt Hegetschweiler

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

It’s perfect for mobile workers. Just take it out — it’s small enough to sit anywhere — turn it on, load a sheet of paper, and start printing.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?