Nokia, NEC and friends agree LTE patent swap shop

A handful of mobile heavyweights, including the likes of Nokia, Ericsson, NEC and Alcatel-Lucent have announced they’ve got together and worked out a patent sharing system for the development of HSDPA’s successor, LTE.

The framework will give all of the company “fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms” for licensing each other’s essential patents. The deal will also make sure that those involved can’t charge royalties that are more than a single digit percentage of the sales price of phones using their patents and for embedded LTE modems, the maximum level will be a “single digit dollar amount”.

Getting the patent regime – and particularly the pricing – for using patents agreed before anyone starts using them is a simple but very clever idea. Perhaps if Nokia and Qualcomm had set up a similar agreement they could have saved themselves a truckload in legal fees.

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