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MPEG-LA Redux: The New RFID Consortium

Mpegla_2Good news for retailers and other RFID watchers: a group of 20 RFID leaders have announced their intention to form an intellectual property (IP) licensing consortium, based on the highly effective MPEG LA, which I've noted has been highly effective in negotiating with both the mobile phone industry and Apple's iTunes effort.

Signatories include Alien Technology, Applied Wireless Identification Group; Avery Dennison; Moore Wallace; Symbol Technologies; ThingMagic, Inc.; Tyco Fire & Security; and Zebra Technologies. Intermec Corp., one of the largest holders of RFID intellectual property is holding out in hopes of maximizing the value of a number of important core patents it holds.

In the meantime, MPEG LA keeps on rolling, having just acquired further intellectual property from European firms QOL, V.T.V. NV and kdg Mediatech. As globalisation spreads, MPEG LA's portfolio approach provides both commercial opportunities and control mechanisms. Currently MPEG LA manages MPEG-2, MPEG-4 (the software behind iTunes), DVB-T (important for the FCC-mandated switch to digital television in 2009) and also DVB-H (video for mobile phones and other handheld devices).

Link: Forrester Research "Evaluating RFID Middleware" (registration required)

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