RFID Standard Sort Of Sidesteps Patents; Intermec Begs To Differ

from the how-nice dept

Earlier this year we wrote about how Intermec was making a lot of trouble in the RFID standards process, by suddenly claiming they had patented technologies that were going into the standard, and they wanted everyone to pay them. Well, the new standard has been ratified and it was done in a way that avoids the patent issue and makes it royalty free. Basically, they claim that the standard doesn’t actually infringe on any Intermec patents, but Intermec sees the story slightly differently. They use a bit of doubletalk, but to paraphrase what they basically say, it’s something along the lines of: “fine, the standard may not use our patented technology, but implementing the standard will require our patented technology, so get ready to pay up anyway.” There might be the sort of typical evil genius laughter that comes after that as well, but it was kept out of the press release for now. Either way, it looks like simply declaring that the standard is royalty free, isn’t actually going to make it so, and there are probably still going to be some patent battles to fight before this gets settled in any meaningful way. Of course, all this means is slower adoption of RFID technology, which is shame.

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