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Summary of Baird RFID Monthly for December

Baird has released its December report. The 19-page document is a worthwhile read for anyone requiring an overview of the industry's last 30 days. For those without time to do so, we have reprinted here the report's summary.
Dec 21, 2007This article was originally published by RFID Update.

December 21, 2007—Wealth and asset management firm Robert W. Baird & Co. has released its RFID Monthly for December. Baird has given RFID Update permission to reprint the Key Developments section (below), which offers the report highlights. For those wanting more detail, the complete 19-page document is available free here.

The standard matrix of primary RFID providers is on page 13, and following are the Key Developments:
  • International Remains a Key RFID Emphasis. We are seeing continued hardware development to meet global RFID requirements. As we have highlighted in past editions, the most significant RFID traction appears to be in Europe and Asia, most notably Korea. This trend is evident in many of the new product releases discussed in this edition.
  • Intellectual Property is a Silent Challenge. Patent issues have seemingly become less relevant after the completion of Intermec's Rapid Start licensing program in 2005. However, it seems thousands of relevant patents related to UHF RFID are disbursed among several hundreds of groups. In our view, the aggregation of such patents under one group will likely benefit the industry by reducing the threat of future litigation as the industry gains scale. The RFID Consortium, formed in 2005, has issued an open call for patents to be placed in a pool to enable the industry to easily obtain necessary licenses. Patent contributors share in the royalties based on patents submitted. The consortium is seeking a review letter by the U.S. Department of Justice to enable discussions with potential licensees to commence, perhaps as early as mid-2008. (See RFID Patent Pool Officially Formed for more.)
  • Track and Trace Has Good Opportunity, but Not Receiving Much Attention. Despite the highly visible recalls this past year with respect to food, toys, and pharmaceuticals, track and trace solutions (in particular RFID) are not receiving attention. The government approach has been to conduct more tests. While more testing would help reduce risk, we believe that a robust track and trace infrastructure would help more rapidly identify recalled items and their source. Such capability would allow for more targeted recalls, lower the risk of further incident once a recall has been made, and allow for more rapid remediation. We expect consumer safety would be elevated, and that consumer backlash after a recall could be reduced. The Dole implementation and a pilot conducted by the Reusable Pallet & Container Coalition using RFID-enabled reusable pallets may provide evidence that RFID track and trace is a strong solution in this area.
  • New RFID Monthly Feature -- Case Study. We have heard from end users that they would like to see more real world applications of RFID. We are introducing a short case study write-up that will highlight an individual RFID application, the business problem it solved, the implementation, and the business impact. One case study will be featured each month, beginning with Toshiba Europe GmbH in this edition. Toshiba leveraged RFID to substantially improve throughput of laptop production.

Download the full Baird RFID Monthly (pdf)
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