WiLAN is a technology development and intellectual property licensing company founded in 1992 with its headquarters in Ottawa, Canada. WiLAN owns patent portfolios that it licenses. It is also partners with owners of patent portfolios through its subsidiary, Gladios IP. Through its subsidiary, Cygnus Broadband, WiLAN conducts ongoing research and development into advanced wireless communication systems.
The company has licensed its intellectual property to over 290 companies worldwide. According to WiLAN, its patents have been licensed to companies that manufacture or sell a wide range of communication and consumer electronics products including 3G and 4G handsets, Wi-Fi-enabled laptops, Wi-Fi and broadband routers, xDSL infrastructure equipment, cellular base stations and digital TV receivers.
In April of this year, WiLAN secured the rights to license certain U.S. patents that relate to networking capabilities of non-standard devices. It was announced a few days ago that one of WiLAN’s wholly owned subsidiaries has granted MasterCard (News - Alert) Corporation a license these patents. All the terms and conditions of the license agreement are confidential.
Throughout the world, MasterCard’s principal business is to process payments between the banks of merchants and the card issuing banks or credit unions of the purchasers who use the "MasterCard" brand debit and credit cards to make purchases. MasterCard was originally known as Interbank/Master Charge, and was created by several California banks as a competitor to the BankAmericard issued by Bank of America, which later became the Visa credit card.
A similar license agreement as the one with MasterCard was also granted to Nautilus Hyosung America. This company is known for its innovative ATM solutions throughout several global regions including the Americas. As seems to be the case with WiLAN all of the terms and conditions of the license agreement are also confidential.
The ability of the owner of a patent to sell or license patented intellectual property provides financial incentive for inventors to invest in the development of new technologies that benefit the economy and society. According to WiLAN, more than 285 companies have licensed technologies through its intellectual property portfolio. The company attributes its success to their licensing program, which is driven by the quality of the patents and its negotiation-based methodology.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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