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WAP Not Zapped, Forum CEO Says
Posted: 31-Jan-2000 [Source: Newsbytes]

[Scott Goldmann, CEO of the WAP Forum, talks about intellectual property rights and the future of WAP.]

By Sherman Fridman, Los Angeles -- "In spite of the publicity - not all of it positive - received by the WAP Forum lately, WAP technology is "beautifully positioned" to be the dominant provider of wireless data services in the future, according to Scott Goldman, chief executive officer of the 300-member WAP Forum.

"WAP, which stands for wireless application protocol, is the technology by which the Forum's telecom industry members propose to create a global standard for receiving wireless data and telephony services on digital mobile phones and other wireless devices.

"Newsbytes caught up with Goldman as he was about to board a flight in Los Angeles and asked the executive about the claims being asserted by various Forum members regarding their ownership of certain intellectual property rights to portions of WAP technology.

"Goldman acknowledged that several members of the WAP Forum - including Diversinet, Geoworks, NEC Corporation, Nokia, and Phone.com, among others - have filed intellectual property claims covering portions of WAP technology. He repeated the position of the WAP Forum that its goal is the establishment of wireless interoperability and reaffirmed the rights of Forum members to protect their intellectual property.

"Goldman said that it is up to the individual companies to take whatever action they deem appropriate to protect their intellectual property rights (IPR) claims, and that it is not the function of the WAP Forum to get involved in these actions.

"The WAP Forum claims to bring together companies from all segments of the telecom industry to ensure product interoperability. According to the WAP Forum, based on the agreement members sign when they join the Forum, these member companies are contractually required to cross-license essential intellectual property on fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms. If members cannot reach agreement on what are fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms, they may take the matter to binding arbitration.

"In spite of recently published reports to the contrary, the announced position of the WAP Forum is that it does not see any of its members' IPR claims as being inhibitors to advancing the WAP standard.

"The WAP Forum membership is 100 percent committed to creating the standard and building products and services which use it," said Greg Williams, chairman of the WAP Forum. "Each individual member requires standards to ensure interoperability for the success of its own business," he said. "That is exactly what the WAP Forum is doing in providing a process for companies to contribute to the standards.

...

"Goldman also took strong issue with Per Lundth, a director of Across Wireless, who was reported as saying that the telecom industry cannot rely on WAP as the single technology to enable mobile data services in a short timeframe. "I don't believe that to be true," he stated.

"Goldman also said that the WAP Forum expects to be releasing news, on an almost daily basis in the very new future, about new developments and deployment of WAP technology.

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