There has been backroom whispering, and a lot of online chatroom cacophony about the Rode Wireless Go II patent infringement issues. So far, there has not been any announcement from the company. From Rode's vantage, it is a smart business strategy to play mute in the hopes that all the dissonance will die out and possible legal challenges will not be pursued. Given the costly process of litigation for the patent owner, Rode perhaps has taken the higher ground in entrenching itself against possible lawsuits by playing mute.
What appears to be missed here is the implications of the actions of Rode. It appears to be a clear patent infringement and it is not a simple one. While most people in the sound community have discounted Rode's product as not being a competitor to Zaxcom's products, nothing could be further from the truth when it comes to what this may imply for the future of the industry. In the short run, Zaxcom and Rode are in different leagues, but in a five-year timeline, it is shortsighted, not just from Rode's perspective but from the point of view of all manufacturers that are or may be competitors of Zaxcom. Assuming that Rode's infringement will be the last is being oblivious to the implications of such a move which opens door to many other low-end manufacturers copy-catting Rode's patent infringements and signaling a free for all to pending patents. In it is simplest form it is plain ignorance to discount what Rode has done.
Any clear analysis of Rode's action will lead to this conclusion that when these low-end manufacturers are unchallenged it will ultimately lead one of the other competitors of Zaxcom to use one or more of these patents in the assumption that it is a ubiquitous feature in many products in the market. The end result of all that will distill to a reality that no patent owner would want to face, challenges in the courts that lead to lengthy battles that last years and leads to a mere exercise in futility.
So, what is the best response? Vigilance is the best answer, vigilance in the spirit of Robert Kearns, vigilance in the aggressive protectionism pursued by Apple on its designs because unchecked violations of patents land companies in victimhood. For the sound industry, this is somewhat new as it is most protected by the technology advancements that still linger in analog transmission and 40-year-old microphone designs that have not gone out of favor within the community.
The hard truth is that change is coming, as it has happened with Aputure lights in the lighting industry, as it has happened with photography products where Broncolor and Profoto are struggling against cheap imitations, so shall we see Rode and other low-end manufacturers and ultimately higher-end sound equipment manufacturers playing the game of cost if the patents are not vehemently challenged at the on-set of infringement. This is why patent infringements must be met head-on without preliminary financial legal cost considerations with a sound perspective on the overall implications of what it may mean to the business of audio equipment manufacturers.