Fostering of Patent Pools Covering Cable Technology (2021)

By Carter Eltzroth, Helikon.net; Judson Cary, SCTE

Patent pools are increasingly well known as a mechanism to license patents essential to a technical standard. Pools have a variety of benefits, including relative ease in licensing for both licensors and implementers (“one-stop shop”) and a lower aggregate royalty level. CableLabs had early experience when it launched in the mid-1990s the first modern day pool covering MPEG2-essential video codec patents. Since then, pools cover a variety of technologies, including video codecs that succeededMPEG2. Other pools today encompass a wide range of standardized technologies implemented by cable operators or used in cable households. Over time, the fractured licensing environment for the video codec HEVC brought many industry players to look for greater clarity for licensing of the most recent ISO/IECMPEG video codec, Versatile Video Coding (VVC). Earlier this year, the Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF) completed its fostering of pool formation covering VVC-essential patents.

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