3M Is Suing Envisionware

I have to thank my boss, Rob, for bringing this to my attention.  And now I’m bringing it to YOUR attention, my dear library friends – you should be concerned.

3M is suing Envisionware for patent infringement.

You can read more about it here.

Did Envisionware infringe on 3M’s patents?  I don’t know.  But it seems to me that maybe the library world should be a little more than concerned about this.  Be prepared – you can bet the cost of RFID and similar services will most likely go up.  3rd party vendors that use RFID and similar products that 3M is suing over are going to be hiring lawyers to help protect themselves in this case.

As a profession that prides itself on providing access to information and resources, why aren’t we upset about the availability and cost of the resources provided to us?

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2 responses to “3M Is Suing Envisionware

  1. As one of the leading vendors in RFID technology for libraries, we are concerned just as well. Although we don’t know the full details of the contention between the parties, we at LAT have always tried to convey the message that “standards are good and beneficial to all”.

    That is, whenever standards exist in any industry, the fact that multiple providers/vendors agree to it is an implicit understanding that it is supported and will not be contested. The same should apply to library automation as well.

    There is no reason why tags, readers, gates …etc., shouldn’t be ISO compliant with the rest of the world. Unfortunately, its hard to make margins on standards, and many take the “dark” road of customizing the technology to make it only work with their own equipment and/or software.

    Just like a USB drive, libraries should be able to “shop around” for the best value in tags, best value in readers, and even best value on software and have a darn good expectation for it all to work together – after all, it all should be governed by standards.

    I just hope these events and legalities of it all don’t quickly halt it all and bring us back to the dark ages of 4-5 years ago where everything was proprietary and vendor driven – then get ready for arbitrary pricing, support and quality.

  2. Pingback: More info on the 3M/Envisionware Lawsuit « My Library Ideas

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