A lawsuit reveals why standards organizations need strong policies on intellectual property.
I've decided to create a new series in my blog that gives real world, real time examples of The Ten Commandments for Effective Standards in action. As I see activities, successes, and challenges in the standards game that pertain to one of the "commandments," I'll point them out. If you come across any good examples, be sure to let me know and I'll be glad to write about them (and give you credit, of course).
For countless reasons, I won't make any judgments on which company is right or wrong or the shades of gray in between. However, I do want to emphasize that this suit (among so many others) is the reason why a standards organization's intellectual property policy is so important. The IP policies of the IEEE-SA and ITU will likely play a key role as this dispute is resolved. As Yatin Trivedi said when he sent me the link to an article about the lawsuit, "Maybe this suit (and its settlement) will give new understanding of the IP policy in standards organizations."
There are surely high stakes to be won or lost in the Microsoft vs. Motorola suit because the consumer electronic products industry is massive. And the big question is who's to decide what RAND really is? The answer will be up to the courts.
It i really beneficial for the business privacy to have their policies maintained but it should be one in accordance with the law.
Thanks for the post ad really doing a appreciable work.
I don't have enough information to form an opinion on which of the parties in this case is correct, or at least more correct, but it does get me wondering about IP licensing. Has litigation always been as big a part of doing business as it seems to be these days? Has it always been there, but with a lower public profile? Or is this a more or less new phenomena?
I'm all for profiting from your invention or discovery. And I'm in support of the idea of being able to sell your invention to another company. But these organizations that do nothing but buy up patents and then file lawsuits, rub me the wrong way. Something just doesn't seem right about it.
The same goes for companies granted patents on things that are in wide use and are obvious enough to have been introduced by a number of companies around the same time (like 1-click ordering).
I really wonder if this has been around under the radar forever or if it's a new "just a part of running a business."
Is Greed Good Business?
In the past, when someone got greedy with their IP portfolio it stimulated the rest of us to invent our way around them. Wasn't it Unisys tried to hold the world to ransom over GIF images? Caused nothing but grief and misundersatnding, and all the wrong kind of publicity for Unisys.
For another approach, Adobe's PDF strategy seems pretty smart so far.
I didn't like the IEEE1394 Firewire licensing approach - no easy entry for outsiders!
Seems there should be a quid-pro-quo for getting an IEEE number, like producing a student pack for the technology.
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