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Old 10-03-12, 09:50 AM   #1
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Post Are patent pools the solution to smartphone lawsuits?

Two years ago, Dolby subsidiary Via Licensing started getting together with companies that would be interested in creating a "one-stop shop" for paying for patents that cover LTE, or Long-Term Evolution, a newer, faster type of cell phone data transmission. Now, the pool has formed, and Via is eager to sign patent licenses on behalf of the 10 companies it represents'but the question remains as to whether anyone will sign up.

The ten companies working with Via represent several big telecom companies, mostly from outside the US. The full list of licensors includes four American companies: AT&T, Clearwire, Hewlett-Packard, and DTVG Licensing (owned by DirecTV); Japanese telecoms KDDI and NTT Docomo; as well as Telecom Italia, SK Telecom (Korea), Telefónica (Spain), and ZTE (China).

In theory, the idea of a patent pool is to make it simpler to overcome the legal woes that sometimes accompany new technology. It seems straightforward that if you have to negotiate a vast array of rights to be in a particular business, it's a whole lot easier to do one negotiation than to do dozens or hundreds of separate ones.

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