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Ms. Bobby Anand (Advocate)     11 June 2008

Vendors pool WiMax patents

Six vendors are to pool their WiMax patents so that companies building WiMax products can license the required technologies without running into patent litigation issues.

Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco, Clearwire, Intel, Samsung and Sprint have formed the Open Patent Alliance with the aim of stimulating the patchy market for WiMax products.

WiMax is a fourth-generation IP-based broadband wireless technology based on the IEEE 802.16e standard.

The patent pool will aggregate the rights needed to build WiMax products as defined by the IEEE 802.16e standard and the WiMax Forum.

The scheme will "ensure product differentiation and interoperability at a more predictable cost", said the vendors, by charging only for the features required to develop WiMax products not already associated with patents owned by the six.

The patent pool will incorporate a variety of royalty licensing solutions, including accounting for cross-licensing among individual members within the pool.

"By facilitating an open intellectual property rights model we expect the alliance to create a more competitive, innovative and broader WiMax industry that ultimately benefits the consumer," said Sriram Viswanathan, general manager of Intel's WiMax programme


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