If you follow photography news at all (you probably do) or have been keeping up with TogTech recently (you certainly should), you’ll know that the SD Association announced a new wireless LAN standard for SD memory cards at CES just last week.
For those of us who have worked in photography retail the news didn’t come as that much of a shock, as wireless SD cards have been around in the form of Eye-Fi cards for over a year. Unfortunately for the SDA, they failed to notify Eye-Fi or even respect their own rules in establishing/announcing this standard.
Not surprisingly, Eye-Fi have responded with a press release in which they claim that the SDA have ignored their own rules and violated Eye-Fi’s intellectual property by announcing a standard for a technology they themselves have made mainstream:
Last week, the SD Association (SDA) announced that a draft Wireless LAN specification had been adopted as a new standard. This was a flat out misrepresentation. As a matter of fact, under the SDA’s own rules, this was not possible. SDA members – and we are one – are allowed 60 days in which to respond with claims to patented intellectual property and plans around licensing that IP to the SDA. Should essential IP be presented during this process, and not offered for license, the SDA should revise the specification and begin the review cycle again. After this process, the SDA Executive Members have to vote on adopting the specification.
Not only has the membership’s intellectual property disclosure window not closed, the Executive Members have also yet to vote on its adoption…
There is a process for the establishment of this kind of specification, and that process wasn’t respected. Any company trying to claim that it is the first to adopt this specification is taking on the mantle of a standard that doesn’t exist.
It’s uncertain how the SDA will react or whether or not the wireless SD standard announced at this year’s CES will actually come to fruition. But it seems we have a bit of a battle on our hands, and since SD cards have become the standard in all but high-end professional-grade cameras, the outcome is likely to effect a large number of people.