Dolby spinoff Via Licensing has shone a signal into the night sky and assembled some of the world's biggest telecoms players to form a patent supergroup. AT&T, NTT DoCoMo and Telefonica are some of the names that'll pool their standards-essential LTE patents to prevent getting embroiled in litigation over FRAND licensing. While there are some notable holdouts to the team, we suggest company president Roger Ross coax them over by hiring Michael McCuistion to write them a rockin' theme song.
Via Licensing Teams with Wireless Leaders to Launch Groundbreaking LTE Patent Pool(3)
Open availability of LTE essential patents mitigates wireless patent lawsuits
SAN FRANCISCO, October 3, 2012-Via Licensing Corporation today announced the formation of a groundbreaking LTE (Long-Term Evolution) patent pool for the wireless industry that will accelerate innovation by providing efficient, transparent, and cost-effective access to LTE standard essential patents. The initial companies offering their patents through Via's LTE patent pool are AT&T, Clearwire Corporation, DTVG Licensing, HP, KDDI Corporation, NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefónica, and ZTE Corporation. By making these essential patents available through a patent pool, Via's licensing program significantly reduces the risk of litigation for those organizations that are building products or services based on the LTE standard.
"We are delighted to have been able to participate in a truly collaborative effort from a broad spectrum of industry players to provide one-stop shop access to LTE standard essential patents that the pool provides," said Dr. Toru Otsu, Managing Director of Intellectual Property at NTT DOCOMO. "We feel confident that the pool will play a huge role in accelerating growth of the LTE ecosystem by meeting both the needs of licensors and licensees."
"Wireless innovation is threatened by costly patent litigation and a lack of predictability surrounding the cost and availability of necessary IP. Working closely with the leading industry players, Via has developed a straightforward way to make available LTE standard essential patents in a fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory fashion," said Roger Ross II, President of Via. "An LTE patent pool based on the best practices prescribed by global antitrust and competition authorities helps patent owners fulfill their obligations to standards bodies while supporting a level playing field among innovators. As an independent administrator, Via is committed to meeting the needs of both patent owners and companies deploying LTE products and services."
"An LTE patent pool is a great step towards increasing the predictability and transparency of IPR for the telecommunications industry," said Mr. Guo Xiaoming, General Counsel of ZTE Corporation. "It is an important milestone for reducing costs and increasing the availability of devices that incorporate LTE standards-based technologies."
LTE technology is being deployed worldwide and features advanced capabilities that present a huge opportunity for the wireless ecosystem. By providing fixed and mobile broadband network access with high data-transmission rates, lower latencies, and enhanced security capabilities, LTE delivers new innovations and increased benefits to a rapidly growing market of LTE wireless products and services.
"LTE is clearly the way forward for global telecommunications," said Mr. Yong-Joo Park, Senior VP and General Counsel of SK Telecom. "Via Licensing's new program breaks down the barriers to accessing LTE essential patents, allowing manufacturers to deliver innovative products to consumers more quickly."
Participation in the LTE licensing program is open to all owners of LTE essential patents. Any party that believes they hold a patent essential to the LTE standard is encouraged to submit the patent for evaluation and, once qualified, to participate in this valuable offering. For information about the patent submission process, please contact John Ehler, LTE Program Director, Via Licensing, at +1 (415) 645-4746. Parties manufacturing or selling LTE devices or components and other implementers of the LTE standard should contact Via by visiting http://vialicensing.com/lte/index.aspx or by sending an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org to request an LTE Patent License Agreement or to obtain more information about the LTE patent portfolio.