Entire sectors of the economy depend on interoperable technology standards: intelligent transport and connected cars, phones, smart buildings, new healthcare solutions, domestic appliances, energy-efficient smart-meters and industry 4.0 manufacturers can no longer innovate without such standards.
The new 2015 intellectual property rules for electrical and electronics engineers standards (“IEEE”) imposed by a few companies pose a real threat for investments in technology standards; for all the sectors that depend on such standards and for consumers who do not benefit from lower prices or greater choice.
Not too many writers earn a decent buck. J.K. Rowling, the famous author behind the successful Harry Potter series, is quite an exception.
If we take a closer look at the logic behind the new IEEE royalty rates, J.K. Rowling wouldn’t receive royalties based on the value of a book, but instead on the smallest saleable unit = one piece of paper. That would instantly reduce her fortune.
J.K. Rowling might still be well-off but you don’t need to be a rocket scientist to understand what this really means for almost every other writer. We might just as well sign literature’s death certificate.
Near Field Communication (NFC) is a standardized technology for contactless payments that replaces traditional credit cards and turns smartphone companies into banks with access to the purchasing history of their customers.
The original NFC co-inventors is a 250 employees SME that invested significant ressources over 10 years to develop the technology and contribute to the NFC standard. Without this large SME investment, NFC could not work. To break even on their NFC investment, the co-inventor still needs to recover a significant part of their orginal investment via the licensing of their patented inventions.
With the new IEEE rules, the return for 10 years of R&D investments by the SMEs that co-invented NCF is reduced by a factor of 30 to 50.
Apple is one of the companies supporting the new IEEE rules. We're curious how this reflects on their on product range and prices.
The price difference for consumers does reflect the added-value that a bigger screen or 3G/4G connectivity bring to the product, not the cost of components (or smallest saleable unit).