Is RFID Technology Patent-Protected or Free to All?

By RFID Journal

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Is radio frequency identification available, royalty-free, to anyone who sees potential for its use in a sector besides manufacturing and distribution? If so, how might one go about making an idea a reality?

—Jake

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Jake,

There are many different types of RFID technology, almost all of which are protected by patents, and would thus require royalty payments.

EPCglobal, the nonprofit association that developed the Electronic Product Code (EPC) standards, requires subscribers to sign an agreement that essentially makes EPC technology royalty-free.

If you wanted to manufacture products employing these standards, you would need to join EPCglobal and sign that same agreement. You could then produce and sell goods based on the standards for any application you dreamed up.

—Mark Roberti, Editor, RFID Journal