Cases & Deals

RFID Consortium obtains favorable business review letter for patent pool from Department of Justice

Clients RFID Consortium LLC

Jones Day represented the RFID Consortium LLC in its request for a business review letter from the Department of Justice Antitrust Division with respect to its proposed licensing of a pool of patents essential to the manufacture of products in compliance with certain ultra-high frequency radio frequency identification standards. The RFID Consortium was formed by France Telecom, Hewlett-Packard Company, LG Electronics, Motorola, Inc., ThingMagic Inc., Zebra Technologies Corporation, and 3M Innovative Properties Company. Each member held one or more patents essential to the implementation of the EPCglobal Generation 2 standard, ISO/IEC 18000 Part 6c. Each member granted the Consortium a non-exclusive right to license its patent(s). The Consortium, in turn, planned to license this pool of patents to all interested users on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms and to divide the royalties it collected among the Consortium members pursuant to a pre-determined formula. Jones Day persuaded the Antitrust Division that the RFID Consortium had in place appropriate safeguards for operation of a patent pool, and the resulting business review letter permitted the Consortium to initiate its licensing activities and recruit new members with confidence that it was unlikely to face challenge under the antitrust laws.