The ever-competitive wireless industry took a step toward cooperation on Wednesday when a number of leading companies, including AT&T (NYSE:T), Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) and H-P (NYSE:HPQ), agreed to join a patent pool program being managed by Via Licensing Corporation.
The patent pool is designed to reduce the amount of legal battles over LTE technology, which has rapidly become the preferred wireless technology due to its superior speeds. Membership in the pool will grant manufacturers easier access to LTE patents and hopefully allow for increased spending in other areas like development.
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The LTE patents are termed “frand,” or standard-essential patents, which are technologies that must be licensed on “fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory” terms. They are intended to allow compatibility across different devices and rival products.
According to Via, there are at least eight additional companies contributing their patents to the pool, and hopefully more to come. Other LTE patent-holding companies still not on-board include Nokia (NYSE:NOK), LG, Motorola (NASDAQ:GOOG) and Samsung.
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