MC-IF Sponsors Initial Meeting of VVC Patent Pool Fostering
Earlier in September, a virtual meeting was organised by the Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF) to encourage fostering of a licensing programme of patents essential to the VVC standard. Forty-five companies were present at the meeting, including BBC, Bytedance, b<>com, Canon Inc., Enghouse Vidyo, Ericsson, ETRI (News - Alert), FG Innovation, Hikvision, Huawei, Ideahub, Intel, Intellectual Discovery, InterDigital, JVCKENWOOD, Kuaishou, Maxell, Mitsubishi Electric, NHK, NTT Corporation, NTT DOCOMO, OPPO, Panasonic (News - Alert), Siemens AG, Sony, and Tencent. These companies are from different countries, and represent different industries and business models. Each has a well-founded belief that it holds patents essential to the Versatile Video Coding standard (VVC, ISO/IEC (News - Alert) 23090-3 | ITU-T Recommendation H.266).
During the meeting, the participants agreed that their objective is selection, if possible by consensus of participants, of an administrator to facilitate the formation of a single patent licensing pool covering a critical mass of patents essential to the VVC standard. They are developing a schedule for presentations of proposals from candidate administrators.
The next meeting will be held on 24 September 2020. It will also be a virtual meeting.
Reviewing the outcome of this initial meeting, Carter Eltzroth, Convenor of MC-IF's VVC Pool Fostering group, said, "VVC Pool Fostering is off to a good start. The 45 participants represent easily a critical mass of companies holding VVC-essential patents. I am hopeful that based on a broad and deep consensus they can move quickly to the selection of an administrator to complete the formation of a VVC patent pool. The pool should provide clarity on licensing terms for VVC implementers and suitable compensation for innovators of VVC technology."
Jud Cary, MC-IF's President, said, "MC-IF is pleased with the progress in fostering a VVC Patent Pool. The number of participants grew quickly over the summer and they represent a broad cross-section of VVC-essential patent owners. With this effort, we hope to avoid fragmentation in VVC patent licensing. The participants have set an ambitious schedule for reviewing proposals from pool administrators and selecting an administrator to form single VVC patent pool." Mr Cary is also Deputy General Counsel of CableLabs (News - Alert) and Co-Convenor of VVC Patent Licensing.
Representing one of the patent holders at this initial meeting was Stephan Wenger, Senior Director of Intellectual Property and Standards at Tencent America. He said, "VVC Pool Fostering is an important initiative and Tencent is pleased to have joined. A patent pool is a good mechanism to help secure the position of VVC as the leading video compression codec. A true one-stop shop, through a single VVC patent pool, will meet the needs of patent owners and implementers." Mr Wenger is also Chair of MC-IF's working group on IP Ecosystem.
About VVC Patent Pooling
MC-IF announced its initiative to foster the formation of a pool licensing VVC-essential patents on 22 July 2020. In its press release, it invited those with a good-faith believe that they hold patents (or patent applications) potentially essential to the Versatile Video Coding (VVC) standard to join the effort. A patent pool provides greater market certainty on licensing terms, and will encourage earlier market launch and widespread adoption of VVC technology for the benefit of VVC implementers and consumers of VVC-compliant products. Ideally, the initiative will lead to the competitive selection of a commercial pool facilitator that will complete the formation of, and then administer, a single, voluntary pool covering VVC essential patents.
MC-IF is fostering the formation of a pool covering VVC-essential patents. It is not facilitating or administering a patent pool.
More information about VVC Pool Fostering, including FAQs, can be found at https://www.mc-if.org/fostering. Companies holding VVC-essential patents can find more information about the meeting on 24 September 2020 by contacting the Convenor, Carter Eltzroth, email@example.com.
The Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF) is an open industry forum with the purpose of furthering the adoption of MPEG Standards, initially focusing on VVC, by establishing them as well-accepted and widely used standards for the benefit of consumers and industry. Any party that supports MC-IF's goals is invited to join the Forum. MC-IF addresses the non-technical aspects of deployment of media standards, notably including licensing, by facilitating cross-industry discussion. It provides a hub for information related to implementations, tools, and guidelines for usage of VVC and related standards. To join MC-IF, see www.MC-IF.org.
About Versatile Video Coding
VVC is the next-generation video compression standard after MPEG's HEVC standard. The codec has 50% better compression rate as HEVC for the same perceptual quality, with support for lossless compression. VVC supports resolutions from 4K to 16K as well as 360° video. VVC supports wide color gamut and high dynamic range (HDR (News - Alert)), auxiliary channels, variable and fractional frame rates, scalable video coding for temporal, spatial, SNR, color gamut and dynamic range differences, stereo/multiview coding, panoramic formats, and still picture coding. The VVC standard was consented by ITU-T Study Group 16 on July 3, 2020, to be published as ITU-T Recommendation H.266. Concurrently, MPEG submitted the VVC standard for Final Draft International Standard ballot, to be published as ISO/IEC 23090-3.
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