Microsoft settles Skype service related patent infringement

Microsoft made agreement to pay VirnetX Holdings Corp. $23 million and settle patent claims over secure communication networks related to Skype service which allows instant messaging and internet calling. The agreement came after U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis in Texas, issued order giving definitions to key terms in VirnetX patents.


In yet another pending case, between VirnetX and Apple Inc. relating to VPN on Demand and FaceTime features, Virnet is waiting for proceedings from Texas court.


Is Qualcomm Losing edge in Mobile Phone Communication Technologies?

The key question in mobile phone communication Technologies is – Qualcomm, with its patent portfolio, maintained its dominant position in CDMA/WCDMA (3G) technologies. Will it maintain its lead in 4G-LTE Technology too?. Let’s get a perspective by reviewing the landscape.

Qualcomm develops and patents mobile phone communication technologies, such as CDMA/WCDMA (3G technology) and OFDMA (LTE/WiMax technologies), which it then licenses to tablet and mobile phone manufacturers. These mobile phone manufacturers make phones that utilize Qualcomm’s technologies and operate on networks based on these technologies. Qualcomm charges royalties on each handset sold based on its technology in addition to one-time licensing fees from handset vendors. Apple, Samsung, Nokia and LG are some of its key customers.


With well over 250 licensees, Qualcomm’s CDMA patent portfolio is the most widely and extensively licensed portfolio in the 3G space today. In past, Qualcomm has been in a tiff with entities like Nokia and India’s Reliance over high royalty rates that it charged. However, over time, the average royalty rate that Qualcomm charges mobile handset vendors has declined considerably, as the average selling price of CDMA mobile phones continue to decline and with carriers transitioning to high-speed 4G networks. And the bad news is that Qualcomm does not have a strong position in this segment.

Due to the lack of same dominant IP portfolio in 4G technologies like LTE, Qualcomm might not be able to achieve the same royalty revenues on OFDMA-based LTE technology, as it enjoyed in CDMA-based technologies. As the industry continues to transition from the 3G to 4G technology, Qualcomm’s average royalty rate is coming under pressure, impacting the bottom-line.

It is anticipated that the gradual shift from 2G to 3G/4G will increase the global penetration of mobile devices from the current 50% to 65% in 2016. And, couple of years thereafter, with adoption of 3G/4G technologies increasing to as much as 80% will constrict CDMA technologies market further.

Core Responsibilities of Chief Innovation Officers in Enterprises

Chief Innovation Officers are critical for Enterprises to Innovate & Thrive. That said, what are the critical items they need to address and set things in place for enterprise to innovate and succeed. Following are the critical items to consider:

Must scout for new ways to manage and innovations so as to ensure Enterprises optimize their investments in Research and Development.

Think Big, Start Incrementally – Google is a great example in this category. They incrementally spawned into several new categories systematically with a game plan and achieved the goals.
Strive for Continuous Innovation NOT Perfection – Nothing can be emphasized more than this. It should not be quest or obsession for perfection but providing incremental innovation (less risky) and solve specific business issue(s).
Ignite thoughts, ideas – Encourage employees, supplement ideas with factual data. Provide Management support and allocate resources.
Introduce the culture of Open Innovation – where in employees, partners collaborate in ensuing innovation keep flowing.
Form bridge between Business, Technical and Legal Function – Must be a inclusive person working closely with all key stakeholders and constituents to foster innovation & growth.
Get new products and services to Market – Support business units in translating the captured ideas into new products, (New Products Initiative – NPI) & Services into Market.
Facilitate environment for idea generation – Capture information from all business units.
Capture all ideas and invention disclosures – Create centralized repository for all innovation disclosures.
Help Identify New Market Spaces – Facilitate application of incremental innovation to solve customer issues and help drive up customer commitment.


Enterprises succeed or fail based on either or combination of these factors. So, the next time you look into your Enterprise – make sure all of these are place or being addressed. A must do thing is to align Business, Technical & Legal Functions, ensure that they are well integrated, and that there is a fail safe mechanism to collaborate, manage and make organizations foster innovations, growth & thrive.

For more information, download the eBook – Managing Innovations for Profitable Growth