LONDON The formation of a patent pool for technologies related to near field communications (NFC) is gathering steam with one of the major players in the field, Via Licensing Corporation, signing up Motorola Inc. for its joint licensing program.
In May this year at the annual Global NFC Developers Summit, held in Monaco, Hélène Jay, Director of Business Development, Europe at Via Licensing said the company is working with all the major players believed to hold essential patents related to NFC, including groups such as NXP Semiconductors , France Telecom, Inside Contactless and others.
The joint licensing program for NFC is designed to provide fair and convenient access to essential patents through a single license agreement. Among the applications covered by this program are NFC–compliant mobile phones, consumer electronic devices, and commercial systems such as payment processing terminals, transportation terminals, and vending machines.
"Motorola has a broad licensing program encompassing multiple technologies, some of which are commercially appropriate for joint licensing programs," said Brian Blasius, Director of Outbound Licensing, Motorola Mobile Devices. "We are committed to facilitating the development and implementation of the NFC market by making our patents essential to the practice of NFC accessible to the industry through a single, convenient source."
A wide range of related technical specifications published by ISO, ETSI, and the NFC Forum are covered by the NFC patent pool agreement. But Via Licensing says non-compliant NFC–related technologies, such as smart cards, are not covered.
Via already administers patent pools for a number of technologies, notably in the broadcast, audio and wireless space, including those for MPEG2 and 802.11 based Wi-Fi and has started an effort for a Long Term Evolution (LTE) patent pool, competing against several other initiatives.
The company is a spin-out from Dolby Laboratories Inc.
NFC creeps closer to the start line