It’s pretty sad that after years of work by industry parties to arrive at a workable standard for Emergency Satellite Communicators (SENDs), it now appears that one of the participants (Briartek) had an active patent application in the works for such devices.
According to Doug Ritter a member of the RTCM128 committee, which compiled the SEND standard: “The BriarTek patent is very broad in scope. It essentially claims invention of the entire concept of using satellites for 2-way text messaging distress beacons”.
BriarTek is taking action to obtain royalties from Iridium and DeLorme by way of an International Trade Commission complaint. I would encourage anyone with an interest in this to make a submission to the ITC.
Most of Briartek’s products are for military/industrial applications. Its Cerberus device, while ostensibly for the “consumer” market, is not price competitive in that market. The release of the Cerberus could even be seen to be a way to claim that Briartek covers the non-professional market in their “negotiation” for royalties from other players.
Read more on Doug Ritter’s website.