EPC standards move forward
One important legal hurdle in the development of RFID has been taken off the race course with the announcement that Intermec Technologies has offered to temporarily suspend its recently announced RFID intellectual property RAND (reasonable and non-discriminatory) licensing program for the EPCglobal Generation 2 RFID standard for 60 days. This will allow standards organisation, EPCglobal, to validate the candidate specification and clears the way for technology providers to submit UHF Generation 2 prototype chips, tags and readers for testing by EPCglobal without violating Intermec intellectual property rights.
EPCglobal Inc, a joint venture between EAN International and the Uniform Code Council, is a not-for-profit organisation entrusted by industry to establish and support the EPCglobal Network as the global standard for real-time, automatic identification of information in the supply chain of any company, anywhere in the world. It is already under pressure, particularly from the UK’s telecom and business services giant British Telecom, to resolve key issues relating to the development of Electronic Product Code (EPC) technology or risk seeing EPC RFID derailed.
This collaboration is being seen as exactly what the EPCglobal community and marketplace needs, as the industry is keen to see the release of a common specification that will drive this emerging market forward. The announcement does confirm that the process is continuing and that progress is being made.
The UHF Generation 2 standard is a key element in the continued build-out of the EPCglobal Network(TM), which combines RFID technology, the Internet and EPC technology to provide accurate, cost-efficient visibility of information throughout supply chains.