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3M to join companies forming patent licensing consortium

3M Europe : 23 June, 2007  (Company News)
3M has signed a definitive term sheet to join the group of companies involved with radio frequency identification technology to form a patent licensing consortium.
Working together, and with other potential patent holders, these companies are dedicated to promoting rapid adoption of RFID by facilitating easier access to essential patents, and to providing patent owners, including 3M, the opportunity to receive fair compensation for those patents.

'The addition of 3M in the formation of the RFID Consortium is yet another indicator that we are making substantive progress in our joint effort to create a patent licensing arrangement that benefits the RFID industry, its customers, and essential patent holders,' said Kevin Ashton, a spokesperson for the RFID Consortium and vice president of Marketing for ThingMagic. 'As with our other members, 3M offers unique technology and capabilities to the industry. With the addition of 3M, we can even better support the creation of new RFID applications and adoption of the technology.'

'The RFID Consortium is key to facilitating the adoption of UHF RFID by providing efficient access to essential RFID intellectual property. 3M is excited to be part of the Consortium, because it encourages adoption of UHF RFID technology and creates a level playing field for every vendor involved,' said Bob Anderson, business director, 3M Track and Trace Solutions. '3M has significant intellectual property in the RFID field and essential patents relative to the EPCglobal Generation 2 standards. Working with the Consortium promises to enable us and our customers to more easily benefit from the adoption of this innovative technology.'

Joint licensing programs provide the market with a convenient and cost-effective way to obtain licenses to the patents essential to practice of a standard. By doing so, the programs encourage adoption of the standard. Without such a joint license, the process of providing and obtaining necessary licenses would be more cumbersome and expensive for all parties.

The proposed licensing program is being made available to all essential patent holders, regardless of whether they were involved in the development of RFID standards. Under the proposed licensing arrangement, all essential RFID patents owned by members of the RFID Consortium will be made available to interested companies via a single license on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
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