Updated: MPEG LA, a creator of patent pools, today announced a third attempt to create a patent pool around the fourth-generation Long Term Evolution wireless standard. The MPEG LA licenses the collection of patents around the MPEG-2 video standard, and competes with Via Licensing, which last week created its own patent pool effort for LTE. The problem is, I just don’t think these — or even an earlier pooling effort — will work.
The Via and MPEG pools have not announced any participants yet, but the larger companies that own patents around LTE are unlikely to participate in a pool when they have the staff and resources to license their patents themselves and make more money. So far only the equipment providers, which wanted to ensure that LTE would gain traction, have expressed a willingness to pool their IP. There’s also no real history of a successful patent pool based on a cellular radio technology. Update: A spokesman for MPEG LA says there’s a 3G patent pool for W-CDMA technology,. but because However, that pool is missing some large patents, so it isn’t considered that successful.