FOSS Patents: Mission accomplished for Avanci: virtually entire automotive industry licensed to 4G standard-essential patent portfolios of 51 licensors--now on to 5G

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2022-09-23 00:30:23

This blog covers software patent news and issues with a particular focus on wireless, mobile devices (smartphones, tablet computers, connected cars) as well as select antitrust matters surrounding those devices.

Reuters just reported that the Avanci patent pool has concluded 4G (including 2G and 3G) standard-essential patent (SEP) license agreements with several major Japanese and European car makers: Toyota, Nissan, Honda, and the Stellantis group (Fiat Chrysler, Opel, and other brands). Litigation by Avanci licensors was pending only against Nissan and Stellantis (in Munich, the world's #1 SEP enforcement hotspot), and will now obviously be withdrawn.

If a pool sets out to provide a one-stop licensing solution for a given industry, and then reaches the point at which its licensors own the vast majority (80% or so) of all patents essential to the standard(s) in question and where virtually all implementers in that industry (80-85% according to Reuters) have taken that license, then that's what's called "mission accomplished."

It appears that Avanci's "final boarding call" (as I dubbed it) has been heeded: various automakers preferred to take a license now over possibly paying $20 (instead of $15) per car later. The first automaker that became known to have taken an Avanci license after that final boarding call was the Hyundai-Kia group.

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