Will WiMax Be Patent-Encumbered?

San Francisco is intent on using WiMax to reach more rural areas around the Bay Area's numerous hills. Clearwire has bought access from AT&T to start operating a national WiMax network and Qualcomm is set to laugh all the way to the bank. In a move all too reminiscent of Rambus sneaking their patented bits into memory standards, Qualcomm owns a series of patents covering the 802.16 WiMax standard after purchasing a small company that was involved in defining those standards. With that club in hand, they'd had no issues with threatening companies looking to deploy services with heavy royalty fees. With this case of patent trolling likely to drag on for years, WiMax seems like the wrong technology for new wide-spread broadband platforms.

(See full articles here, here and here.)

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