Open Patent Alliance issues call for WiMAX patents
Press release, June 23; Michael McManus, DIGITIMES [Tuesday 23 June 2009]
The Open Patent Alliance (OPA), a group dedicated to offering intellectual property rights (IPR) solutions that support the development and widespread adoption of WiMAX, has announced a call for patents, with the intention of creating a patent pool of essential WiMAX patents. The OPA has selected Via Licensing Corporation to facilitate the formation and administration of the pool on behalf of the OPA.
A WiMAX patent pool can enable companies of all sizes to access needed patent licenses in a simple and cost-effective manner. Establishing this pool is an important part of the OPA's plans to create a fair and transparent IPR licensing structure with reasonable royalty rates. By lowering the barriers to entry for companies wishing to develop innovative products and services, the patent pool will accelerate the global adoption of WiMAX, simultaneously driving innovation, fostering broader choice and lowering costs for WiMAX technology, devices and applications.
"Today's patent call is a major milestone in our quest to create an innovative and truly open WiMAX ecosystem," said OPA president Yung Hahn. "Through the patent pool approach, not only will the OPA be able to drive down the costs of adopting WiMAX, we will be able to create a more predictable cost structure that can be accessed by infrastructure vendors, device manufacturers and application developers worldwide."
WiMAX, a 4G IP-based wireless broadband technology based on the IEEE 802.16e specification, provides low-cost, multi-megabit speeds and greater throughput for the mobile Internet era of video-rich content and bandwidth-intensive applications. OPA members include Acer, Alcatel-Lucent, Alvarion, Cisco, Clearwire, Huawei Technologies, Intel Corporation, and Samsung Electronics, as well as newly announced associate members Beceem, GCT Semiconductor, Sequans, and UQ Communications, underscoring broad 4G ecosystem support – from semiconductors to consumer devices to service providers.
A WiMAX patent pool will help ensure product differentiation and interoperability at a more predictable cost through a more competitive royalty structure. This is critical to the long-term success and broad adoption of WiMAX, enabling a wider array of devices from the smart phones, consumer electronics and PC industries to more quickly integrate wireless broadband into their products.
An independent third-party reviewer or "patent evaluator" will evaluate submitted patents to determine whether or not they are essential. Any entity that believes it has patents or pending patent applications that are essential to WiMAX is invited to contact Via Licensing to receive information about how to submit patents for essentiality review by the independent patent evaluator.