July 2012 Meeting Summary

The Southern California Section of the Institute of Navigation held a colloquium on Thursday, July 19, 2012 on the Ploughshares (UK MOD) assertion of patents which affect the interoperability of GNSS systems previously considered settled policy. There were about 30 people in attendance. The colloquium subject is: “The Ploughshares assertion of the UK MOD patent ‘rights’ threatens GNSS interoperability. What are the equities and what are the options?”

Agenda for the Meeting
11:45: Framing the Issue: History; Expectations circa 2003; Expectations 2012; Differences and Consequences to GNSS, including Galileo, Compass and Glonass.
12:05: Equities: pro UK MOD; anti UK MOD (e.g.: what did other system providers contribute without compensation expectation and how clean are the claims by Pratt and Owen?)
12:20: Technical Options: (can we contain the effects with feasible changes in the system?)
12:40: Political Options: (do we have leverage in uncommitted arrangements (quid pro quo))? Where are our DOD and DOS masters on the subject?
12:50: Action Items and Next Steps; Industry and USG Resources: ION or RION? Follow-up meetings and outreach to today’s absentees.


Thomas A. Stansell (Presentation Slides) is well known to all, a Kepler Award Laureate, Fellow of the ION, etc., has been very active in dealing with this subject as a public citizen and as a consultant to various USG entities, including those directly involved in this matter. He will lead the discussion.

Richard G. Keegan, GPS system design pioneer with multiple GNSS and Communications Systems patent awards has participated in the various committees and in technical support to the decision makers on this subject and has a detailed understanding of the history and technical factors in the controversy.

Jerry E. Knight has been deeply involved in patent litigation, GNSS system design, pioneering many innovations in system architecture and signal processing software. He is an alumnus of Magnavox, Leica, SiRF ( where he was Chief Engineer and where he led the patent litigation and more recently of NavCom Technology ( John Deere). He is an independent consultant.