Hot!Bluetooth licensing fees

Author
dagnabitboy
Starting Member
  • Total Posts : 19
  • Reward points : 0
  • Joined: 2012/07/06 13:42:14
  • Location: 0
  • Status: offline
2017/09/21 12:01:43 (permalink)
3 (1)

Bluetooth licensing fees

It seems I must register my product with the Bluetooth Alliance and pay some hefty fees, even though the RN4020 is already Bluetooth certified (QDID).  Does anyone that's brought a Bluetooth product (using a Microchip module) to market have experience with this?  Thanks for any insight!!
 
#1

14 Replies Related Threads

    dan1138
    Super Member
    • Total Posts : 2584
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2007/02/21 23:04:16
    • Location: 0
    • Status: offline
    Re: Bluetooth licensing fees 2017/09/21 18:31:26 (permalink)
    3 (2)
    This is a cost of doing business with a Bluetooth device that is advertised for sale as a product that uses Bluetooth.
     
    If you can sell your product without every telling your customers your device supports Bluetooth connectivity you can "get away" without registering your device. Enforcement seems a bit haphazard. If your sales are small you may never be noticed.
    post edited by dan1138 - 2017/09/22 11:53:13
    #2
    dagnabitboy
    Starting Member
    • Total Posts : 19
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2012/07/06 13:42:14
    • Location: 0
    • Status: offline
    Re: Bluetooth licensing fees 2017/09/21 19:26:24 (permalink)
    0
    You confirm what I'm learning.  It would be pretty hard to conceal the bluetooth aspect of the product, since it requires an app that uses the bluetooth on a phone or tablet.  I'm tempted to try what you say, but I don't have the, uh, b***s!  It would be just my luck to sell 1 device and get caught!
     
    Thanks for your input.  Much appreciated!
     
    #3
    PStechPaul
    Super Member
    • Total Posts : 1359
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2006/06/27 16:11:32
    • Location: Cockeysville, MD, USA
    • Status: offline
    Re: Bluetooth licensing fees 2017/09/21 22:56:38 (permalink)
    3 (1)
    It looks like the standard fee is $4000 but for small companies a $2500 license is available, and for a GATT client profile only there is a $99 option. I have used some of the cheap $3 Bluetooth modules in some projects but they are not presently offered for sale, so it might not apply. But apparently even mentioning the name "Bluetooth" incurs the licensing requirement.
     
    https://www.bluetooth.com...ist-qualify-my-product
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/..._of_Bluetooth_profiles
     
    There may be some alternatives that avoid the cost of Bluetooth. The following article is from 2002, however:
     
    http://www.electronicdesi...alternatives-bluetooth
     
    ZigBee might be a possibility:
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zigbee
     
    There is also "Z-Wave"
     
    http://www.smartofthehome...4/03/zigbee-vs-z-wave/
    post edited by PStechPaul - 2017/09/21 23:09:46

     
    #4
    dagnabitboy
    Starting Member
    • Total Posts : 19
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2012/07/06 13:42:14
    • Location: 0
    • Status: offline
    Re: Bluetooth licensing fees 2017/09/22 07:47:27 (permalink)
    4 (1)
    Thanks for all your research!  It looks like I will need to "belly up to the bar"!  I have to use Bluetooth, because my product uses a smartphone.  I will take a look at the GATT profile, I know nothing about it.  I'm currently using the MLDP mode, as I pass short strings of data back and forth, and it seemed the easiest to work with.  Although, it took many months to get all the idiosyncrasies conquered, and it's working very well now. 
     
    I talked to an engineer friend at another company and learned that you have to pay licensing fees for using Wi-Fi or Zig-bee as well!  And Wi-Fi is an annual fee!
     
    Too bad the phones don't have a simple 900 mhz module built in that you could program with your own protocol!
     
    Thanks again, much appreciated!
    #5
    geoffers
    Junior Member
    • Total Posts : 50
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2008/07/18 11:34:58
    • Location: 0
    • Status: online
    Re: Bluetooth licensing fees 2017/09/22 10:33:57 (permalink)
    3 (1)
    Sorry to jump in.....
    I'm a month or two behind but hopefully will soon be selling things with Bluetooth modules in them so found this interesting!

    I'm using a certified module rn4678, Bluetooth classic only SSP. Probably similar to you sending bytes back and forth to a Android app / Bluetooth printer.

    Would you mind letting us know how much it costs you, I had assumed if it was a certified module away you went.....

    If I have to pay $99 its not too bad $2500! That would change my unit price a fair bit, oh well...

    Cheers Geoff
    #6
    Jim Nickerson
    User 452 _
    • Total Posts : 4111
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2003/11/07 12:35:10
    • Location: San Diego, CA
    • Status: online
    Re: Bluetooth licensing fees 2017/09/22 11:01:01 (permalink)
    0
    Maybe you could not declare/advertise it as a  "Bluetooth" or one of the registered trade marks ?
    #7
    dagnabitboy
    Starting Member
    • Total Posts : 19
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2012/07/06 13:42:14
    • Location: 0
    • Status: offline
    Re: Bluetooth licensing fees 2017/09/22 11:16:46 (permalink)
    3 (1)
    Here is the bluetooth licensing fee structure:  https://www.bluetooth.com/develop-with-bluetooth/qualification-listing/qualification-listing-fees
     
    I am going to contact Microchip for clarification.  I believe that MLDP is built on top of GATT, so it may be possible that the chip qualifies for the $100 fee.  I will post what I find out.
    #8
    dagnabitboy
    Starting Member
    • Total Posts : 19
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2012/07/06 13:42:14
    • Location: 0
    • Status: offline
    Re: Bluetooth licensing fees 2017/09/22 11:21:44 (permalink)
    0
    I wish it were so simple!!  I'm using Bluetooth in my phone app to communicate with my product, so it's kind of impossible not to mention it.  And with my luck, I'd probably get caught after selling unit #1!!!  It's tempting though, right?  Seems like everything we want to do violates some patent, or trademark.  In a way, it's the modern legal version of the mafia, demanding a piece of the pie!!
     
    #9
    Jim Nickerson
    User 452 _
    • Total Posts : 4111
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2003/11/07 12:35:10
    • Location: San Diego, CA
    • Status: online
    Re: Bluetooth licensing fees 2017/09/22 11:28:47 (permalink)
    3 (1)
    If you are selling 1000's then the fees are ok, if small quantity and there is no $100 solution then I will choose something other than Blue Tooth.
    #10
    tunelabguy
    Super Member
    • Total Posts : 1685
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2005/04/03 08:30:19
    • Location: Hopkins, MN USA
    • Status: offline
    Re: Bluetooth licensing fees 2017/09/22 13:53:30 (permalink)
    3 (1)
    It looks to me like the $99 fee is for client-only products.  If your product is a BLE server then it is one of the higher fees.

    Robert Scott
    Hopkins, MN
     
    #11
    dagnabitboy
    Starting Member
    • Total Posts : 19
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2012/07/06 13:42:14
    • Location: 0
    • Status: offline
    Re: Bluetooth licensing fees 2017/09/27 18:49:50 (permalink)
    5 (5)
    Thread bump and info!
    I contacted the Bluetooth Alliance.  Joining the organization is free for an LLC, or other Corporation.  Sole proprietors are not allowed.  So, I will have to incorporate.  You must purchase a "product declaration". The fee for a small company is $2000.  You can do this twice, then the fee jumps to $4000.  If you have more than one product that uses the same bluetooth chip then adding more products if free.  Finally, if your product uses GATT there is an additional $100.  Since the RN4020 MLDP protocol is built on top of GATT I suspect I will have to pay the addition fee as well.
     
    Thanks everyone for your comments and suggestions!
    #12
    geoffers
    Junior Member
    • Total Posts : 50
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2008/07/18 11:34:58
    • Location: 0
    • Status: online
    Re: Bluetooth licensing fees 2017/09/28 03:26:07 (permalink)
    5 (2)
    Thanks for the update!

    I'm waiting for a reply from them, had also contacted them :-), at least I know what they're going to say now.

    Looks like I will have to form a ltd UK company? We have a small trading partnership but guess that won't be sufficient to class us as a organization.

    Good luck!
    Cheers Geoff
    #13
    roundrocktom
    Super Member
    • Total Posts : 978
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2012/09/07 08:19:09
    • Location: Texas
    • Status: offline
    Re: Bluetooth licensing fees 2017/09/28 04:27:06 (permalink)
    3 (1)
    dagnabitboy
    Here is the bluetooth licensing fee structure:  https://www.bluetooth.com/develop-with-bluetooth/qualification-listing/qualification-listing-fees
     
    I am going to contact Microchip for clarification.  I believe that MLDP is built on top of GATT, so it may be possible that the chip qualifies for the $100 fee.  I will post what I find out.




    Microchip Low-energy Data Profile (MLDP) was implemented by Microchip prior to GATT. 
     
    http://www.microchip.com/forums/m891732.aspx
     
     
    #14
    dagnabitboy
    Starting Member
    • Total Posts : 19
    • Reward points : 0
    • Joined: 2012/07/06 13:42:14
    • Location: 0
    • Status: offline
    Re: Bluetooth licensing fees 2017/09/28 06:46:22 (permalink)
    3 (1)
    One of their drop down menus did mention partnerships, so you might be OK.  Good luck Geoff!
    #15
    Jump to:
    © 2017 APG vNext Commercial Version 4.5