Monday, May 22, 2023

Avanci Broadcast patent pool adds ETRI, KPN, NEC, NERC-DTV, thereby increasing coverage of ATSC 3.0 standard-essential patent families to 80%

In March, Avanci announced its first non-automotive standard-essential patent (SEP) pool: Avanci Broadcast, a pool for the ATSC 3.0 (also known as NextGenTV) broadcasting standard that is particularly popular in the United States and in South Korea.

At the time of its launch, the pool contained more than 70% of the ATSC 3.0-essential SEP families, and the vast majority of TV sets supporting ATSC 3.0 were licensed from the beginning (though it's important to consider that TV sets are not only the device category to implement ATSC 3.0; there are also set-top boxes, for instance). Some of the licensor are also major implementers, but not all initial licensees were also licensors (Sony is only a licensee).

The ATSC 3.0 pool was the first Avanci pool to announce Samsung as a licensor. Shortly thereafter, Samsung also joined Avanci's automotive SEP pool.

Today Avanci announced the Avanci Broadcast pool's expansion to "over 80% of essential patent families for the ATSC 3.0 broadcasting standard" through the addition of four licensors:

  • South Korean research institute ETRI,

  • Dutch telecommunications carrier KPN,

  • Japanese electronics giant NEC, and

  • China's Shanghai National Engineering Research Center of Digital Television (NERC-DTV).

Existing licensees (LG, Samsung, Sharp, Sony) are now automatically licensed to the new licensors' ATSC 3.0 SEPs as well, at no additional cost. That is a feature of the Avanci pools, but also of many other patent pools. In my opinion, the European Commission's recently somewhat negative take on patent pools does not give sufficient consideration to that (and not only to that) fact.