Limits reported on access to fieldbus standard-related patents

Still worried that implementing the new fieldbus standards will infringe on patents, Endress+Hauser (E+H, Reinach, Switzerland) complained Aug. 21 that promised licensing access to three patents needed to build F OUNDATION fieldbus-compliant products is being restricted to five years by Rosemount Inc.

09/01/2000


New Orleans, La. Still worried that implementing the new fieldbus standards will infringe on patents, Endress+Hauser (E+H, Reinach, Switzerland) complained Aug. 21 that promised licensing access to three patents needed to build F OUNDATION fieldbus-compliant products is being restricted to five years by Rosemount Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.). The three patents cover control output signals from two-wire field devices. Access to a fourth patent would reportedly require a royalty-bearing license and apply only to E+H's Coriolis flowmeter. In a statement issued at ISA Expo/2000, Diether Schaudel, E+H's technology, techniques, and informatics director, stated that E+H sought better definitions of the patents for more than a year. However, he added that E+H hasn't received answers that would give it the "legal security" needed to effectively use the IEC 61158 and EN 50170 standards. To support its claims, E+H released correspondence from Rosemount, which outlines the restrictions and adds, "We are further willing to extend these non-exclusive licenses for the life of the patents if we are able to reach agreement on the other outstanding matters we discussed." Mr. Schaudel adds this ambiguousness supports E+H's concern and earlier contention that part of the fieldbus standards is a "Trojan horse" that will allow Rosemount, part of Fisher-Rosemount (F-R, Austin, Tex.), to use international standardization to eventually enforce a monopolistic policy. Representatives of the Fieldbus Foundation (FF, Austin, Tex.) declined to comment on E+H's claims on Aug. 23, though they added they would prepare a statement soon. FF and F-R have previously stated that royalty-free licenses would be granted to anyone seeking to build F OUNDATION fieldbus-based products. E+H is a founding member and sponsor of FF.





No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.