The Meaningless WiMax Patent Pool

from the somebody's-missing.... dept

There are some folks who believe that the solution to patent problems is to just have everyone who claims to have a patent on a certain technology throw it into a “patent pool” and then those who use the technology pay up a fee that gets divided up among pool members. It sounds nice, but in practice, it almost never works. Setting up a patent pool actually encourages the wrong behavior: it encourages plenty of other patent holders to claim they deserve to be a part of the pool, and if they’re not included, they start suing like crazy. Also, it encourages companies to try to get any kind of patent that might get them included in a pool, leading to all sorts of crazy claims. It’s the exact opposite of the type of behavior that should be encouraged.

So, don’t read too much into the fact that a bunch of companies in the WiMax space have agreed to put together a patent pool under the amusingly inaccurately named “Open Patent Alliance.” The companies involved, Cisco, Intel, Samsung, Sprint, Alcatel-Lucent, and Clearwire are all betting big on WiMax deployments, so they know it’s in their best interest to get the licensing out of the way. But you’ll notice that there are a lot of companies missing — including Wi-LAN who has been claiming that it owns all the key patents over WiMax technology for years. The patent pool sounds nice, but it’s certainly not going to diminish the number of patent lawsuits that arise over WiMax technology. If anything, it’s just going to make all those other companies even angrier.

Filed Under: ,
Companies: alcatel-lucent, cisco, clearwire, intel, samsung, sprint, wi-lan

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Comments on “The Meaningless WiMax Patent Pool”

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4 Comments
unknownsoundman says:

mono poly

If clearwire is involved, it has to be a scam.
they can not even deliver “wireless”, or “broadband” as they openly claim (advertise).
What ever happened to “truth in advertising”, or for that matter, the government agencies (FCC, FTC, etc.) that are supposed to look out for the public, not just collude with big business to ream the citizens for every dime they can jack?
This is just a way for the big corporations to shut out the small guys on the block (you know, the innovators).

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