Patent pool provider Via Licensing has expanded its LTE licensing offering to include technologies that support the 5G standard.
Via, which works with technology companies to develop and manage licensing schemes, announced the expansion on Wednesday, June 20.
LTE, commonly marketed as ‘4G LTE & Advanced 4G’, is a standard for high-speed wireless communication for devices. The expansion will see LTE-Advanced Pro (LTE-A Pro) standard technologies, which are designed to support 5G, included in Via’s patent pool with no change in the programme’s royalty rate.
Products and services which use LTE technologies include smartphones, laptops, and internet of things (IoT) products, according to Via, and LTE-based devices enable access to applications such as enhanced voice communications, messaging, and entertainment services.
Via’s LTE licensing programme is intended to provide a fair, transparent, and cost-effective way for companies to obtain a licence to all LTE and LTE-Advanced patents of participating licensors that are essential for the deployment of the LTE standard.
Participation in Via’s patent pool is available to all owners of essential LTE patents. Currently, companies offering LTE-essential patents through Via’s licensing programme include Lenovo, Siemens, and Google.
LTE-A Pro presents “a significant opportunity for advancement across the wireless ecosystem”, Via said, as advanced technologies such as licensed assisted access and dual connectivity will enable the rapidly growing market of LTE wireless products and services to “grow even faster”.
“By making essential patents available through a patent pool, Via’s licensing programme significantly reduces the risk of litigation for organisations that are building products or services based on the LTE standard,” the release said.
Joe Siino, president of Via, said: “This enhancement to Via’s LTE patent pool offering allows manufacturers and service providers to bring products to market in a more cost-effective and predictable manner.”
The first 5G specifications were released last week by members of the 3rd Generation Partnership, a collaboration of standards-development in the telecoms industry.
In an interview with WIPR earlier this month, Nokia’s head of IP and standards, IP regulatory affairs, Adrian Howes, said the company may change the way it approaches licensing in the IoT by looking towards multilateral approaches such as patent pools.