Avanci announced that Nokia has joined its licensing platform initiative, taking the group’s share of the declared LTE SEP landscape to 46%.
Patent pool initiatives and licensing platforms can offer a simplified route to licensing, and as wireless standards become increasingly complex as the industry adds 5G functionality to 4G, 3G and IoT applications, the potential benefits to the industry of a simplified licensing model are appealing.
Avanci, founded Kasim Alfalahi, previously Chief Intellectual Property Officer for Ericsson, is the latest entity trying to build a working licensing platform covering a range of technical standards (LTE, 3G, GSM, WiFi and Zigbee), with automotive as a target vertical sector, as well as connected homes, smart meters and other IoT devices.
Prior to Nokia’s announcement, and the recent inclusion of NTT DoCoMo, Avanci’s membership accounted for around 30% of the declared patent landscapes for LTE. With Nokia and NTT DoCoMo now part of the licensing platform, Avanci covers 46% of the declared LTE SEP landscape.
Avanci aims to reduce the transaction costs involved in SEP licensing by bringing together patent holders under one platform. The inclusion of big names such as Nokia, Ericsson, Qualcomm and InterDigital are big wins for Avanci. The remaining 54% of the landscape is held by a diverse set of players including Samsung, Huawei, Apple, Intel, LG and Philips. Many of the other patent holders are part of other patent licensing platforms in Via Licensing and Sisvel.
While Avanci has been successful attracting some big names to its platform, it has had less success winning licensees. To date only BMW has signed up to the platform.
While Avanci claims its approach to licensing follows FRAND, it has yet to publish any patent lists, or share details of its portfolio. Our analysis of the LTE SEP landscape is based on the declared patents, and does not include essentiality or invalidity analysis of the member portfolios. Avanci’s use-case based licensing (charging different royalty rates for the same technology in different usage scenarios) is also a novel basis for licensing, which many see as an unproven, and perhaps controversial proposal.
CUBICIBUC is an independent consulting firm that provides commercial and technical support in FRAND and SEP related matters – helping clients dealing with licensing issues, and providing expert support to litigation and arbitration.
CUBICIBUC, has a long history supporting SEP related matters, our team has commissioned and built numerous SEP landscape reports for 3G, LTE and WiFi. We actively contribute to the ongoing conversations around FRAND and SEPs, and support our clients with pragmatic advice to derisk SEP licensing.