Piscataway, NJ, and San Francisco, CA, — December 10, 2008 — The IEEE Standards Association and Via Licensing Corporation announced today a collaborative effort to foster patent licensing programs, also known as patent pools, for IEEE standards. The collaboration’s goal is to accelerate and broaden adoption of IEEE standards-based technologies.
The two organizations plan to build awareness of the benefits of patent pools in the IEEE-SA corporate stakeholder community. Via will administer the licensing programs that emerge from these efforts. These patent pools will bring together multiple entities who own patents essential to the practice of IEEE standards to license their individual Intellectual Property (IP) rights through a streamlined process.
According to Judith Gorman, Managing Director, IEEE Standards Association, “The collaboration with Via Licensing is a groundbreaking step for the IEEE in addressing the needs of our industry stakeholders to see their significant investment in standards development rewarded. We expect that our participation at the earliest stages of the patent pooling process will reduce the barriers that prevent the rapid adoption of technology standards.”
“As the IEEE continues to develop global technology standards, it is important that any issues surrounding intellectual property are addressed in a fair and cost-effective manner. Together, IEEE and Via Licensing are working to provide visibility, neutrality, and streamlined accessibility to essential intellectual property,” said Jean-Michel Bourdon, President, Via Licensing.
Patent pools provide an expedient business construct for holders of essential patents related to a specification or standard. Licensors in the pool facilitate access to their intellectual property by establishing a single royalty rate and license for all of the patents in the pool.
“Today’s announcement reduces some of the barriers preventing the rapid adoption of IEEE standards in the market and can help streamline the process for licensing essential patents,” said Harald Roeggla, Senior Director, IP Licensing and Claims, NXP.
“This move supports the fast adoption of IEEE standards in the market as it helps reduce uncertainty about the licenses needed and royalty burden for the technology," added Dennis Brophy, Director of Strategic Business Development, Mentor Graphics Corporation.
“This is a positive step for the technology standards industry. Addressing the IP issues for standards as early as possible could help in the adoption of new standards," says Stefan Geyersberger, Head of IP Licensing, Fraunhofer IIS.
Patent pools bring a measure of stability to patent licensing for a particular technology by reducing litigation risks and establishing a market rate. As a result, licensees find it easier to obtain licenses, and licensors can monetize their research investment in a market-enabling and cost-effective manner.
"The interdependence of intellectual property rights and markets combined with the accelerated pace of development has created the need for greater visibility of licensing requirements both within and across individual standards," said Robert Syputa, senior analyst and partner at Maravedis Inc. "This makes a coordinated licensing framework that includes patent pools, a valuable asset if not an outright necessity for the advancement of electronics, particularly of IT and telecommunications related technologies and markets."
About Via Licensing Corporation
Via Licensing Corporation develops and administers patent licensing programs on behalf of innovative technology companies and for the convenience of licensees. Via Licensing Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: DLB) and benefits from the expertise, infrastructure, and strategic business relationships that Dolby has developed in more than 35 years of licensing into the consumer electronics and personal computing markets. Via Licensing is involved in the development and operation of licensing programs for both mandated and de facto or emerging standards. For more information about Via Licensing Corporation, please visit www.vialicensing.com.
About the IEEE Standards Association
The IEEE Standards Association, a globally recognized standards-setting body, develops consensus standards through an open process that brings diverse parts of an industry together. These standards set specifications and procedures based on current scientific consensus. The IEEE-SA has a portfolio of 950 approved standards and close to 500 standards projects in development. For information on the IEEE-SA, please visit standards.ieee.org.
About the IEEE
IEEE is the world's largest technical professional society. Through its 365,000 members in 150 countries, the society is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computers and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics. Dedicated to the advancement of technology, the IEEE publishes 30 percent of the world's literature in the electrical and electronics engineering and computer science fields, and has developed 950 active industry standards. The organization also sponsors or cosponsors more than 300 international technical conferences each year.