Wireless Companies Band Together to Pool LTE Patents
A group of 10 companies today revealed they have formed a patent-pooling collective. Via Licensing, an organization that was spun off from Dolby Laboratories, is meant to gather together LTE-based patents and license them as a large group on behalf of all the members, rather than separately per company. Some of the initial members include AT&T, HP, and Clearwire from the U.S., as well as KDDI, NTT DoCoMo, Telefonica, and Telecom Italia. Speaking to the Wall Street Journal, Via Licensing CEO Roger Ross said that the patents contributed to the pool are all standard essential. "One of the things that we do is give them a conduit to ensure that we are meeting their RAND obligations," he said. The group hopes that by collecting and licensing their patents together, they will be able to avoid patent-based litigation altogether. Some of the most important LTE patent-holding companies have yet to join, such as Qualcomm, Nokia, Samsung, Motorola, and Apple. Via Licensing's Ross expects more companies will join over time.
Samsung's Galaxy S8 Active Boasts Tougher, Less-Refined Design
Samsung today announced the Galaxy S8 Active, a rugged version of the S8 that will initially be sold by AT&T. The phone does away with the attractive, curved design of the S8 in favor of a more rugged metal frame with bumpers that are able to withstand drops up to 5 feet.
Samsung Makes the Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J3 Available Unlocked
Samsung today added the Galaxy J7 and Galaxy J3 to its list of unlocked smartphones. The two inexpensive handsets will be available to purchase directly from Samsung's web site as well as select retailers starting July 28.
Google Makes LTE Patents Available Through Via Licensing
Via Licensing today said that Google has added its LTE patents to its broader pool of LTE patents. Via Licensing collects wireless patents from a broad range of companies with the intent of licensing them at fair and reasonable rates.
Google, Seeking Patent Peace, Debuts PAX Licensing Network
Google today announced PAX, a patent-licensing initiative for Android that the company hopes will help resolve and/or prevent patent-related threats. Companies that join PAX give each other royalty-free patent licenses that cover Android and Google applications on compatible devices.