Patent landrush threatens Wi-Fi standards

We have examined before how patent lawsuits are threatening to stifle the adoption of wireless standards. Symbol, fresh from an intellectual property victory over rival Proxim, is the latest to assert sweeping licensing rights in 802.11 technology, while VIA is seeking to extend its proposed 'intellectual property pool' to WiMAX.

With the emerging WiMAX and RFID wireless technologies both subject to major patent claims, as well as numerous intellectual property disputes in Wi-Fi, the arguments are growing louder that standards are kept royalty-free. This would basically give companies – particularly start-ups – the choice of keeping their inventions proprietary and seeking to build a de facto standard with a full royalty revenue stream, Qualcomm-style; or donate the innovations to industry bodies for free, but with the hope of creating a far larger market in a shorter timescale, in which to sell products and services.

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News source: The Reg

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