As the UIQ Platform Opens, UIQ Closes
Things looked admittedly bleak for UIQ in June, when the mobile software company's code was slated to be integrated into the Symbian Foundation's open source platform. Yesterday it was announced that Motorola and Sony Ericsson, joint owners of UIQ, declared the company insolvent. On December 30th, UIQ filed for bankruptcy (as is required of insolvent companies under Swedish law).
UIQ's chief executive, Johan Sandberg, said that UIQ was surviving on the royalty fees from its intellectual property, and Sony Ericsson and Motorola's decision to work with the Symbian Foundation was the real end for the firm. Motorola discontinued work with UIQ in November, but both it and Sony Ericsson avoided cutting the company loose, in order to allow UIQ and its employees extra time to look for new opportunities.
It's interesting to look at this story from both sides of the intellectual property argument. It illustrates clearly why companies go to great lengths (and expense) to hold on to and protect intellectual property -- it is a matter of life and death in some instances. Could an open license, implemented from the beginning, save a company from this end, if only because it forces the business to approach the market in a very different manner?
It's difficult to say, even in hindsight. It would seem that choosing the best licensing for your product is as important as -- and integral to -- adapting to change and competition.