Google bought Motorola. Then it sold Motorola, but kept the patents. The tech giant intended for these to act as a shield against suits from rival companies. But after facing difficulties in the courts, Google has now decided to license its LTE patents as part of a standard by joining the Via Licensing group.
Via Licensing, a subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories, consolidates LTE wireless patents from multiple holders and offers out what it considers fair and predictable royalties. This makes the process simpler for licensees and licensors alike, as it reduces time spent tracking down the necessary patents (for the former) and resources devoted to individually enforcing patents in courts (the latter).
Group members include AT&T, China Mobile, Clear Wireless, Deutsche Telekom (which owns T-Mobile), Hewlett-Packard, NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, ZTE, and others.
Google Joins Via Licensing’s LTE Patent Pool
Technology leader joins growing roster of global companies working to ensure fair, predictable and cost-effective pricing for LTE technologies.
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Via Licensing Corporation today announced that Google Inc. has joined the growing roster of global companies participating in Via’s groundbreaking LTE (Long Term Evolution) Patent Pool, which aggregates LTE wireless patents from multiple patent holders for the purpose of offering fair, predictable and cost-effective royalties for LTE patents.
Google’s contribution of patents to Via’s LTE licensing program is significant, especially in that it includes the impressive portfolio of LTE standard essential patents originally owned by Motorola Mobility and Motorola. Google’s decision to participate in the pool underscores the success and value of Via’s LTE Patent Pool, which simplifies licensing by aggregating LTE essential patents from multiple patent owners and greatly reduces the risk of patent litigation for companies developing products and services that use LTE technology.
Other participants offering a license to their essential patents through Via’s LTE Patent Pool include AT&T, China Mobile, Clear Wireless, Deutsche Telekom, DTVG Licensing, Hewlett-Packard, KDDI, NTT DOCOMO, SK Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica and ZTE Corp.
“Via’s LTE Patent Pool provides a great platform for others to obtain a license to our LTE patents,” said Allen Lo, Deputy General Counsel for Patents at Google. “We are very excited to join Via and the other licensors to help LTE technologies continue to thrive. Access to wireless technology, such as LTE, is a key component to many great products and services around the world. Via’s LTE Patent Pool helps provide a pathway towards global connectivity.”
Products and services that use LTE technologies include smartphones, tablet and laptop computers, voice and data services, game consoles, and automobiles. LTE technology, which is sometimes referred to as Fourth Generation Wireless, or simply 4G, is the next generation of wireless connectivity technologies that is being deployed worldwide.
Via’s LTE Patent Pool uses best practices prescribed by global antitrust and competition authorities to help standard essential patent owners meet regulatory requirements and obligations to standards bodies as well as foster a level playing field among innovators. The license provides an efficient, cost-effective alternative to negotiating individual licenses with each essential patent holder.
“We are thrilled to have Google as a partner,” said Roger Ross II, President of Via Licensing. “Google’s participation underscores the growing importance of Via’s LTE Patent Pool in helping manufacturers and service providers offer products in a cost-effective and more predictable manner. As a result, innovations in LTE can continue to gain momentum and provide increasing benefit to customers around the world.”
Participation in Via’s LTE Patent Pool is open to all owners of essential LTE patents. Any party that believes it holds such a patent is encouraged to submit the patent to Via for evaluation by an independent patent evaluator. For more information about the patent submission process, please contact John Ehler, LTE Program Director, Via Licensing at +1 (415) 645-4746. Parties manufacturing or selling LTE devices or components and other implementers of the LTE standard should contact Via Licensing by visiting http://vialicensing.com/lte/index.aspx or by sending an email message to [email protected] to request an LTE Patent License Agreement or to obtain more information about the LTE patent portfolio.