Sisvel and Via Licensing say they are making progress in their efforts to start a patent pool for LTE technology. An LTE patent pool could speed adoption of the 4G technology by simplifying the licensing process.
Via Licensing said it brought together 14 LTE patent owners at its first joint licensing meeting. Though it did not disclose which companies attended, the firm said the companies “represent a broad spectrum of leading LTE stakeholders from China, France, Finland, Germany, Japan, Korea, the Netherlands and the United States.” The company’s next meeting of LTE patent holders is scheduled for March.
Sisvel said 20 companies were participating in its efforts to create an LTE patent pool. It too declined to name specific patent holders but said participants included telecommunications companies, consumer electronics and integrated circuit manufacturers, and research institutes coming from China, Japan, Korea, Europe and North America.
MPEG LA, the third company seeking to launch an LTE patent pool, held its first meeting of 12 patent holders in late September 2009. It has not made any announcements about the progress of is efforts since then.
Joint technology licensing agreements must attract a critical mass of patent holders to be effective. Several major LTE patent holders, namely Qualcomm, have stated they are not interested in joining the patent pool effort.
The LTE patent pool effort has been criticized by the Open Patent Alliance for its fragmentation. In previous interviews with Wireless Week, OPA President Yung Hahn said having three different companies competing for top LTE patent holders will decrease the likelihood of an LTE patent pool coming to fruition.
Via Licensing currently handles the WiMAX patent pool for the Open Patent Alliance.