Brussels, 27th April 2018 – The addition of three of the world’s leading auto-makers and leading European and global broadcaster SKY to the Brussels-based Fair Standards Alliance (FSA) reinforces the alliance as the world’s leading supporter of a fairer and more transparent Standard Essential Patent (SEP) licensing eco-system. The FSA’s membership now equals forty companies, large and small, from across a broad spectrum of innovative industries including automobiles, tech, broadcasting and telecoms. Since its creation, the FSA has worked closely with the European Commission and other EU institutions to help develop a modern, transparent and relevant set of guidelines on SEPs which will keep Europe at the forefront of an innovative economy ensuring Brussels plays a leading role in helping form Europe’s economic future – especially in respect of the rollout of 5G and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The new automotive members are:
- Ford – In 1903 Henry Ford has started his automotive business in Dearborn, Michigan. Today Ford is a global company with about 202,000 employees worldwide, and designs, manufactures, markets, and services a full line of cars, trucks, SUVs and electrified vehicles. In 2017, Ford sold 6.6 million vehicles and generated $ 146 billion automotive revenue. Ford is pursuing leadership positions in electrification, autonomous vehicles, and mobility solutions. These developments require fair access to technologies protected by SEPs.
- Honda – Ever since its foundation in 1948, Honda has continued taking on challenges at the forefront of the times based on its Fundamental Beliefs which consists of “Respect for the Individual” and “The Three Joys”. As a result of such challenges, Honda has grown as a mobility company that delivers its products to 28 million customers around the world every year. Honda is now focusing on three areas, namely mobility, robotics, with a focus on AI, and energy solutions in order to provide people with the joy and freedom of mobility and the joy of making their lives better.
- Toyota – Toyota Motor Corporation is a global mobility company known especially for its Prius hybrid-electric and the first mass-produced fuel cell sedan, Mirai. Headquartered in Toyota City, Japan, Toyota’s global network manufactures around 10 million vehicles per year and sells them in more than 170 countries under the brands Toyota, Lexus, Daihatsu and Hino.
“I am delighted to welcome these leading automotive companies – all of which are household names across the world. These companies all share a belief in the FSA’s values and goals including a more open and transparent SEP licensing eco-system to ensure Europe is at the cutting-edge of 5G and the IoT. With these new joiners there can no longer be any doubt that the FSA represents the voice of business on SEP licensing issues”, said Robert Pocknell, FSA Chairman.
Addition of SKY Plc broadens FSA industry sectors
SKY – Sky provides a comprehensive range of communications services using well-known brands including Sky, Sky Q, Sky Go, Sky+ HD, NowTV and many others to more than 22 million customers in a number of European countries including Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain, the UK, the Republic of Ireland and Switzerland. Services vary according to the territory with substantial, licensed and original audiovisual offerings including HD and UHD content delivered via satellite, terrestrial, cable, IPTV and OTT (internet) networks. These services are often coupled with telecommunications services including broadband and hot spot internet provision as well as fixed and mobile telephones. Sky also provides certain audiovisual content for wider international distribution, including for example Sky News and TG24.
In order to offer this broad portfolio of services, Sky employs a wide range of technologies. Some of these technologies are created in-house, others are licensed directly from providers or from SEP holders whose materials have been referenced in specifications created in industry standardisation bodies. Launching and offering innovative services entails significant business risks which must be understood and planned for. Transparency in the cost of delivering these products and services, including royalty arrangements for the technologies required, is an essential component for minimising business uncertainty.
Sky looks forward to working with the FSA to help deliver this increased and much needed transparency, and to improve the SEP process for all providers.
“SKY’s membership of the FSA is a major step forward for the alliance. It goes to show that issues around SEPs are increasingly relevant across all companies including for those providing audio-visual media services. I am delighted to welcome SKY to the FSA and all our members are looking forward to the contribution this important global broadcaster and innovator can bring to the alliance.” said Robert Pocknell, FSA Chairman.
The FSA believes that the innovation ecosystem – especially in Europe – 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.
Background on the FSA www.fair-standards.org
- The FSA is an alliance of European and international companies – both large and small – across a range of sectors but united by one goal: to champion Europe as a leader in the development and rollout of the Internet of Things (IoT).
- Our 40 members include SMEs, global and European companies such as Volkswagen, BMW, Deutsche Telekom, Harman, Intel, Cisco, Fairphone, AirTies and Nordic Semiconductor. The full list is available on the FSA website.
- The members of the FSA contribute to the EU economy by employing more than one million people in the EU alone.
- The FSA groups a number of the world’s largest innovators. It includes companies that spend billions of Euros annually on R&D, developing technologies, participating in standards development and licensing Standard Essential Patents to others.
- Annually, the aggregate turnover of the Alliance members is close to 2 trillion Euros, and on aggregate our members spend more than 100 Billion Euros on R&D and innovation and have more than 300,000 patents that are either granted or pending.
For further information
FSA Press Office: John Clancy +32 (0)498 953 773
FSA General Information: +32 (0)2 2 289 0802, [email protected]