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

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “The Meaningless WiMax Patent Pool”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
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).

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...