CBCnews

Not in Canada, you say? Pity

by Paul Jay, CBCNews.ca. As a final follow-up to our Skype story from a couple of days ago, we've learned in the last couple of days a great deal about what isn't keeping the popular voice-over-internet application from coming to the iPhone in Canada.

As Rogers told us Tuesday, they are not involved.

Apple Canada's PR representative Simon Atkins emailed us yesterday as well to say they too are not involved, which also eliminated the possibility that the issue was related to Apple's long-ago resolved trademark dispute with Comwave over the iPhone name.

Chaim Haas, the public relations representative acting on behalf of Skype, then further cleared the air yesterday to CBC News, saying it isn't related to the Canadian Radio and Telecommunications Commission, nor is related to an ongoing legal battle between Skype and Net2Phone.

Again, as Haas first said on Monday, the issue is related to a patent license restriction.

"There is a vague restriction in one of the standards-based technology licenses, and we are actively looking into it," said Haas.

Haas said ambiguity in the terms of service of a particular patent in Canada has forced the company to hold back on offering the service in Canada, but would not elaborate on the patent itself.

The issue has led tech-savvy Canadians to seek work-arounds, with several technology bloggers publishing step-by-step instructions for circumventing the restriction.

The story was also a reminder that intellectual property laws can represent a barrier to bringing new technologies to Canada. Tomorrow I'll be exploring some of the more common reasons why technology is slow to arrive to Canada, and how Canadian consumers deal with it.

If anyone has any thoughts on the subject, they can post them here.

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