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.