ETSI moves to restrict IPR in the future

Informa Telecoms & Media has brought to light that the European Telecommunications Standards Institute (ETSI) is developing a radical plan to restrict IPR for patents essential to all components of the next version of the 3GPP-based radio standard, known as Long-Term Evolution (LTE). The plan, devised by mobile operators, is designed to get all relevant patent holders to agree in advance to a cumulative cap of about 5 percent for royalties on the cost of all LTE equipment so that companies can more clearly define the cost of the technology. It appears the move is a direct shot at QUALCOMM, which is the subject of a European Commission complaint brought by Nokia, Ericsson and others who claim QUALCOMM is being anticompetitive when it comes to licensing WCDMA.

We probably won't see QUALCOMM agreeing to any IPR capping. While there is not much CDMA involved in the LTE standard, which is primarily OFDM and MIMO technology, QUALCOMM has been filing a host of patents surrounding OFDM during the last couple of years and owns a fair chunk from its acquisition of Flarion Technologies, which is the only company to date to offer mobile OFDM commercially. But it's ownership of OFDM patents can't certainly be as big as CDMA.

To read more about ETSI's IPR restrictions:
- take a look at this press release on Mobile Monday