WAP Forum blesses Geoworks WAP claim

Geoworks' patent on WAP has the industry guessing what it will mean to the standard

US software company Geoworks this week received official confirmation from the WAP Forum of its right to seek licence fees from companies using the Wireless Application Protocol. The company has claimed successfully that it owns a patent for part of the fledgling protocol.

Analysts and industry insiders are unsure of the effect that the Geoworks claim will have on the future of the WAP standard, although few serious problems are expected.

Declan Lonergan, director of wireless services at Strategy Analytics, points out that the WAP Forum's confirmation of Geoworks' claim has little impact on its proposed licensing programme. "It is essentially a powerless body -- this means almost nothing," he says. "The initial reaction in the industry to this claim was that it was going to have a terrible impact, but it has yet to run its course. We're in a wait and see situation."

Following initial notification last May, Geoworks officially informed the Forum in January of its claim to IP rights. It says it has already entered into licensing discussions with several key members of the WAP Forum. Royalties include a $20,000 licence fee along with a 10 percent royalty fee on top of the price of a device.

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