Success in the market for wireless devices and services is all about timing -- if you don't get hot new products released in time to meet or beat the competition, you're stuck selling off second-rate inventory at a loss. Wireless vendors and service providers have already been jockeying to compete in the next generation of wireless services still years away, and many have recently come together in hopes of speeding their entry into the market.
The group, which includes Nokia
The consortium believes that a 10% royalty cap is fair and reasonable for wireless devices, and that a hard $10 cap is appropriate for laptop computers incorporating LTE technology. The thinking is that if companies holding intellectual property pledge to limit license fees early on, then late-in-the-game demands and legal maneuvers won't have a chance to stall LTE commercialization down the road.
In theory, this makes sense. But notably missing from the quorum is wireless-technology purveyor Qualcomm
Since Qualcomm and another company absent from the list -- Texas Instruments
Bringing intellectual-property disputes to a head several years in advance of commercialization may help work out the kinks before the LTE platform hits prime time, but I doubt it. As Qualcomm has learned from Broadcom, more leverage comes when products are shipping and companies have more to lose. And with billions at stake, the incentives still remain to spend millions on a legal team to resolve matters in court.
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Fool contributor Dave Mock takes his time figuring what he royally deserves. Dave owns shares of Qualcomm, Alcatel-Lucent, and Intel and is the author of The Qualcomm Equation. InterDigital is a Stock Advisor recommendation. The Fool's disclosure policy licenses its intellectual property for free.