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William Merritt, InterDigital's President and CEO, Addresses Standards and Patent Licensing Debate in IPWatchdog Post

February 7, 2014 / IP, standards / Posted By: Jason Johnston

In a recent IP Watchdog post, William Merritt, our President and CEO, talks about a conversation he had last year with a journalist at a leading tech website.  The reporter, who given his beat should be in-the-know, was clueless about how wireless standards are developed—even worse, he was misinformed.

For Bill, the conversation represents the lack of understanding that exists in both the tech world—even among long term insiders—and Washington about standards development, the pivotal role standards play in wireless technology, and the importance of patenting key innovations that contribute to standards. Misconceptions, he posits, underlie the current heated argument against licensing patents. (Just read the post’s comments to see the debate in action.)

In his piece—InterDigital’s Story: Fostering Industry Solutions and Profiting from its Growth—Bill attempts to clear up these misconceptions. He looks at how companies like InterDigital develop standards and why these research and development bodies should be able to patent the valuable intellectual property behind standards.  It’s a good read for people in and outside of the wireless space and lays the foundation for informed, meaningful debate about monetizing innovations that are the backbone of the wireless market.

There are few topics in America today that are as hungry for reasoned debate and discussion as the area of patents.  Unfortunately, in many corners innovators are vilified simply because they choose to license what they develop. This is problematic when you consider that research and development companies have developed many great innovations. I remain hopeful that a reasoned debate will prevail.”