In 2015, IEEE changed its Patent Policy in ways that InterDigital believes significantly disadvantage companies that conduct research and development and contribute solutions to its standards. InterDigital opposed those policy changes and openly expressed concerns about the negative impact those changes would have on patent holders and on the IEEE standard-development process itself. InterDigital informed IEEE in an open letter that, while we will continue to work within IEEE to advance key technologies for the benefit of industry participants and consumers -- and honor each of our commitments under the IEEE patent policies in place prior to the effective date of the March 2015 Patent Policy -- going forward, InterDigital will not make licensing assurances under the March 2015 Patent Policy and will instead provide alternative licensing assurances consistent with the goals of driving technology adoption while ensuring fair compensation for research success.
As the IEEE has previously stated, submission of LOAs under the March 2015 Patent Policy is “entirely voluntary,” and “[p]atent owners who do not wish to submit a Letter of Assurance under the proposed [March 2015] policy are free not to do so.”
Accordingly, InterDigital provides the following licensing assurance in connection with IEEE 802.11ax, High Efficiency WLAN (HEW) (the “IEEE Standard”), which is intended to be of the same scope and on the same terms as the Letters of Assurance that InterDigital has previously submitted to IEEE with respect to other projects prior to March 2015 and the adoption of the March 2015 Patent Policy: