Brussels, 20 September 2016 – The Fair Standards Alliance (FSA) today welcomed Avanci’s recent announcement of their new Internet of Things (IoT) licensing patent pool but warned it might not yet go far enough to solve industry wrangling over patent licensing.
The FSA is always keen to support new initiatives to improve the current licensing models for Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) – especially when such a platform will ensure SEPs are licensed on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory basis (FRAND).
Fair access to essential patents at fair prices will be the key to ensure people everywhere benefit from the fully integrated world of the future including the Internet of Things (IoT). SMEs as well as large corporations require fair access to such patents to ensure a level playing field which can help nurture the innovation which will drive the digital economy in the decades to come.
“Avanci’s new licensing platform is a step in the right direction but unfortunately it is not a giant leap forward since it is – for the moment at least – limited to a handful of companies. There are hundreds of companies that would need to join to create a programme that would benefit both licensors and licensees. Furthermore, when it comes to SEP licensing the devil is in the detail. Avanci has not yet provided details on how it will set its “flat fee” licensing rates. What we must avoid is a licensing system which seeks to charge different prices for using the same technology depending on the use to which it is put, for example a different price for a wireless unit in a car compared to the same wireless unit in a smartmeter.” said Robert Pocknell, FSA Chairman.
The FSA looks forward to learning more about Avanci’s platform and the form it will take in the near future since the company has committed itself to a fully transparent programme including on its royalty rates.
FSA Position Paper “SEP licences available to all” explains the FSA vision as to why FRAND SEP licenses must be available to all entities, regardless of their role within the product supply chain.
Launched in November 2015 and based in Europe, the Alliance seeks to promote the licensing of standards-essential patents (SEPs) on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) terms.
The FSA believes that the entire innovation ecosystem is threatened by unfair and unreasonable SEP licensing practices. Failure to honour the FRAND commitment that exists in most standardisation licensing creates barriers to market entry, threatens to stifle the full potential for economic growth across major industry sectors, and ultimately curbs consumer choice.
The FSA’s member companies – spend billions of euros annually on R&D and hold hundreds of thousands of patents between them – include: AirTies, BMW, Cisco, Daimler, Dell, Fairphone, Google, HP, Hyundai, Intel, ip.access, Juniper Networks, Lenovo, Micromax, peiker acustic, Sierra Wireless, Telit, u-blox and Volkswagen.
For further information
FSA Press Office: John Clancy, John.Clancy@fticonsulting.com
Download the PDF here.