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Carriers Team Up To Protect LTE Patents

Despite skepticism about the effectiveness of patent pools, AT&T, Clearwire, Telefonica, and seven others join forces to protect 4G intellectual property.
Seven wireless operators, two equipment vendors and one satellite TV provider are joining forces to create the first Long Term Evolution (LTE) patent pool in hopes of staying out of the courtrooms for issues related to 4G intellectual property.

The patent pool, managed by Dolby Laboratories' subsidiary Via Licensing, includes AT&T, Clearwire, Hewlett-Packard, DirecTV Group subsidiary DTVG Licensing, KDDI, NTT Docomo, SK Telecom, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, and ZTE.

By sharing their LTE standard essential patents, which include any inventions that are required to implement LTE, the companies can ensure they are paid licensing fees for their patents and can also reduce the threat of litigation.

Via Licensing president Roger Ross says the pool will also give handset makers predictability in terms of what their bill of materials will be.

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