Companies looking to produce LTE equipment now have more options as intellectual property firm Sisvel has made a patent pool offering available under license.
The portfolio includes patents that the company picked up from Nokia in late 2011 as well as some from Cassidian, an EADS company, the China Academy of Telecommunication Technology, the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, France Telecom, TDF, and KPN.
A patent pool is created when companies choose to licensee their technology collectively, rather than get mired in litigation in an attempt to extract value from them. Via licensing has already made an LTE patent pool available, and MPEG LTE was in the frame to create a second, but Sisvel has beaten them to the punch. Key LTE patent holders Ericsson and Qualcomm have so far not chosen to join a patent pool.
The portfolio of essential LTE patents is covered under air, reasonable, and non-discriminatory (FRAND) agreements, so cannot be charged for at exorbitant rates. They are available under standard terms and conditions at a royalty rate of 0.99 Euros per device.
Jean-Francois Bernard, Licensing Director of France Telecom, said in a statement that the new pool was “…a step forward that will benefit telecom manufacturers, operators, and consumers by establishing convenient access to essential LTE patents held by the pool and its members.”
“Sisvel’s LTE pool represents tremendous value for licensees,” said Giustino de Sanctis, CEO of Sisvel International, “and it is a great opportunity for companies advocating lower aggregate royalty rates for the benefit of the LTE industry to advance that position by participating in this joint effort rather than undertaking individual license negotiations.”
Accordingly, Sisvel has invited other parties who believe they have patents essential to LTE to contact them to have their value evaluated by the pool’s designated independent evaluator.
A recent report from the GSA noted that there were now a total of 521 LTE end-user devices available from a total of 79 manufacturers – a 164 per cent increase in the number of devices available since last year.