The future development of Internet content across the mobile phone network could be slowed as a result of a patent dispute over Wireless Application Protocol (Wap) technology.
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Wap development company Geoworks, which is a member of the widely supported Wap Forum, says it wants payment from all companies dedicated to using the current commercial standard of Wap.
If they refuse to pay, all the big mobile phone manufacturers may end up in long-running patent court cases. Last year, a similar dispute between US company Qualcomm and Sweden's Ericsson threatened the development of third generation data services on handsets.
That dispute was recently settled, but not before threats of a trade war between the US and the European Union.