The Open Patent Alliance, formed last year to create an IPR framework for WiMAX, announced a call for patents with the intention to create a patent pool of essential WiMAX patents. The OPA, formed last June by Alcatel-Lucent, Alvarion, Cisco, Clearwire, Huawei, Intel, and Samsung, has chosen Via Licensing to facilitate the formation of the pool on behalf of the OPA.
The OPA believes a patent pool can co-exist alongside bilateral deals that are already prevalent in the wireless industry. "We started with the notion that we need to prove that bilateral agreements aren't the only solution and that a patent pool could actually be very beneficial," said OPA President Yung Hahn in an interview with FierceBroadbandWireless. "We aren't patent-pool bigots, and clearly it didn't work in 3G, but in the case of WiMAX, we have concluded that it will work and work well in combination with bilateral agreements."
Hahn said one of the primary benefits of the OPA will be to create a market reference point with a critical pass of patents so that the legal community can get an idea of what is reasonable and fair in terms of license fees.
An independent third-party reviewer will evaluate submitted patents to determine whether or not they are essential. Any entity that believes it has patents or pending patent applications that are essential to WiMAX is invited to contact Via Licensing.
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