Licensor Spotlight: Driving 5G transformation, China Mobile seizes new opportunities through innovation

As part of a series of articles, we spotlight the innovation of another of the patent owners in our independent Avanci marketplace, China Mobile. This has been translated and adapted from an original article published by Huanqiu.com in China.

At the forefront of developing 5G technology and industry, China Mobile has been busy building and operating 5G communications networks, creating a new information infrastructure underpinned by 5G, Compute-First Networking (CFN) and Smart Mid-end Platform, with the aim of building a new information service system featuring Connectivity + Computing power + Ability.

To scale up 5G private networks and advance industrial digitalization, China Mobile was the first in the industry to release 5G Private Network Technology System 2.0. Additionally, it enhanced the network’s capabilities by leveraging 5G LAN and TSN, and improved access control capabilities by utilizing NPN and Secondary Authentication. It has also strengthened its service carrying capacity and expanded its 5G private network capabilities.

Huanqiu’s reporter spoke to Li Nan and Hu Nan, deputy heads of the China Mobile Research Institute’s Department of Wireless and Terminal Technology. Li and Hu shared their insights on the development of 5G technology and their experience of technological innovation.

Li-Nan
Li Nan
A culture of innovation is an important driver that leads to multiple patents and standards

“Since joining the China Mobile Research Institute in 2007 after graduating, I have been engaged in research on and the international standardization of 4G, 5G and NB-IoT. I’ve also participated in the research of 6G technology. Now, I am working on technology research, standardization and industrialization in the field of wireless cloud networks,” Li Nan said.

Li finds his research motivation in China Mobile’s corporate culture, which champions responsibility and excellence, as well as its mission of Creating an Infinite Communications World and Becoming the Pillar of the Information Society. It’s what drives him to explore cutting-edge communications technology. After joining China Mobile, Li was excited to be engaged in standardization work. As one of the first representatives of the Third Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), an international standards development organization, Li took part in formulating TD-LTE and 5G standards and the R&D of international standard-essential patents. His participation enabled him and his team to work with the best researchers in the industry, and to witness first-hand the application of their self-developed solutions and standards in products and networks. These valuable experiences helped them create and deliver value, and also serve as a source of inspiration for him and his team.

“I have spent over 10 years working on forward-looking wireless technology research and standardization since joining the company in 2008. In this period, I have been involved in the formulation of 4G- and 5G-related standards and the development of patents and international standard-essential patents,” Hu Nan said.

“Innovation is in our DNA. We are keenly aware of the importance of innovation for our development, and even for the whole industry’s growth. For example, when working on a carrier aggregation project, we recognized that being independent in terms of carrier aggregation is essential for LTE and 5G NR—it took us over five years to finish the overall closed-loop R&D from technology R&D and test verification to the launch of international standards and commercial application on a larger scale. During this period, my team encountered various setbacks, but the entire project’s deliverables were completed. This accomplishment is inseparable from China Mobile’s emphasis on standardization and continuous input. More importantly, these patents can help the communications industry develop sustainably prosperously,” Hu added.

Hu-Nan
Hu Nan

With V2X and IoT development speeding up, 5G is driving the continuous transformation of related industries

When asked by the reporter about 5G’s development trend and the application of 5G technology in the fields of V2X and IoT, Li said that V2X and IoT represent the most cutting-edge and widespread industry applications when it comes to 5G application scenarios. He believes that as the technology matures and costs decrease, 5G, a vital technology in a connected world, will grow explosively.

The general nodes of IoT are powered by traditional 2G and 4G technologies. For power-line inspections and other industrial scenarios, which require excellent latency and reliability, and industry application scenarios such as high-rate uplink transmission, 5G is the optimal choice, pointing to the technology’s tremendous market potential. In addition, as 5G technology continues to evolve and mature, it will also become commonplace in smart wearables and other IoT applications.

With the Internet of Vehicles, the application of 5G technology to autonomous driving will transform people’s mobility experiences. Autonomous driving is also bound to create new safety, reliability, latency and group communications requirements. The combination of 5G and positioning technologies such as BeiDou and GPS, as well as vehicle-to-vehicle sensor interoperability technology, could serve as the foundation that underpins autonomous driving, thus further enhancing safety and efficiency.

Li also believes that ever-maturing autonomous driving technology will in the future free drivers’ hands and help to create new in-car entertainment scenarios, leading to new business, which will in turn create new 5G application scenarios and markets.

Avanci partnership enables technology inventions to empower global markets

In January 2019, China Mobile joined one-stop licensing platform Avanci, where it can license its global patent portfolio of 2G, 3G and 4G standard-essential patents in the IoT market. Speaking on China Mobile’s partnership with Avanci, Hu said that Avanci enabled IoT industry players to access the vast majority of wireless communications standard patents through a single agreement, thereby contributing to the rapid application of wireless communications technologies.

In the past three years of cooperating with Avanci, China Mobile has gained a platform to promote its patented technologies globally and also placed a greater emphasis on its own R&D, allowing it to share its scientific and technological innovations with global industry partners. More than 40 world-renowned automotive brands now license China Mobile’s wireless communications technologies through Avanci, covering more than 65 million licensed connected cars on the road around the world.*

“The partnership with Avanci is a new initiative for China Mobile to explore IoT patent licensing rules and models. China Mobile joined forces with Avanci with the intention of helping the IoT industry reduce patent litigation risks, eliminate barriers, promote synergies between the IoT industry and wireless communications technologies, and drive high-quality development,” concludes Hu.

* Updated numbers since the original article was published

Avanci Announces Patent License Agreement with Ford

Leading car maker joins Avanci’s essential patent marketplace for connected vehicles

DALLAS, Texas, May 31, 2022 – Today, Avanci announced that it has signed a patent license agreement with Ford Motor Company. With one agreement, Ford gains access to all 4G, 3G, and 2G standard essential patents owned by the 49 patent owners currently participating in the Avanci licensing program, as well as any patent owner who joins the program in the future, for use in Ford’s connected vehicles.

“Avanci extends a warm welcome to Ford, one of the world’s leading automotive manufacturers,” said Kasim Alfalahi, founder and chief executive officer of Avanci. “Ford is the fifth US-based auto maker to join the growing list of companies who have adopted the industry solution offered by our independent marketplace.”

Avanci has transformed the way the owners of patented cellular technology and automakers share technology, by offering a single joint license to the majority cellular standard essential patents on a set of transparent licensing terms that have been widely accepted by licensors and licensees. A total of 41 auto brands and more than 65 million vehicles are now licensed by Avanci.

 

Media contact:

Mark Durrant
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
media@avanci.com
+1 (469) 480-2558 / +44 7875 276867

Avanci Announces Patent License Agreement with General Motors

Leading US car maker joins Avanci marketplace, obtaining a license for essential patented technology for connected vehicles

DALLAS, Texas, May 3, 2022 – Today, Avanci announced that it has signed a patent license agreement with General Motors, increasing the total number of auto brands licensed through the Avanci marketplace to 37. By signing an agreement with Avanci, connected vehicles from General Motors family of brands receive licenses to the 2G, 3G, and 4G essential patents of the 48 patent owners that participate in the marketplace today, as well as patent owners that join Avanci in the future.

“We are very pleased to welcome General Motors, the largest US based automotive manufacturer and one of the largest worldwide, as an Avanci licensee,” said Kasim Alfalahi, founder and chief executive officer of Avanci. “This agreement demonstrates our focus on streamlining the patent licensing process for the automotive market with efficient, predictable licensing solutions through our one-stop Avanci marketplace.”

Avanci’s truly independent marketplace has transformed the way companies share technology by licensing intellectual property from many different patent holders in a single transaction, at low, fixed rates, paid once for the lifetime of the vehicle. By streamlining the technology sharing process, Avanci provides automotive manufacturers with an efficient and transparent way to access the wireless technology needed for their connected vehicles. More than 55 million connected vehicles on the world’s roads are licensed through Avanci.

Media contact:

Mark Durrant
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
media@avanci.com
+1 (469) 480-2558 / +44 7875 276867

Licensor Spotlight: Panasonic innovates to enable Society 5.0 and a connected future

Panasonic Digital
Panasonic Digital & AI Technology Center in Yokohama, Japan

In 2017, Panasonic was among the first patent owners to join the Avanci marketplace. A long-time leader in technology research and development, Panasonic has been involved in standardization in the communications arena since the formation of the 3GPP, and its engineers have participated in thousands of 3G, 4G and 5G standardization meetings across the globe.

We recently spoke to two Panasonic experts involved in developing technologies which are licensed through Avanci, to understand their personal stories as researchers and inventors.

Akihiko Nishio has had a 22-year career in Panasonic. He worked initially on 3G modem development, moving in 2003 to focus on research and standardization work for LTE and LTE-A. He then spent several years in a business division, developing smart home systems, using knowledge and experience from his work on cellular standardization.

In 2019, Nishio-san returned to the corporate R&D team to work on 3GPP standardization now for 5G, also working on 5G enhancements for non-terrestrial networks using satellite communications, more recently becoming project leader for technologies beyond 5G, including 6G. To date, he has been the first named inventor on more than 600 granted patents.

Ayako Iwata joined Panasonic in 2003. Her research in communications began as a student, when she did laboratory work with a researcher from a mobile communications firm, which motivated her to change track from her initial interest in fiber communications.

At Panasonic, Iwata-san is involved in 3GPP standardization, and since 2008 has been actively involved in the RAN1 working group, which is responsible for the development of specifications dealing with LTE-Advanced, 5G NR, and beyond. Her research in 3GPP began with Relay in Release 10, a feature based on both base station and user equipment. She was involved in research on control channel technologies for LTE Advanced and 5G, winning an award from Japan’s Technical Committee on Radio Communications Systems (RCS) in 2009. She is currently researching 5G technologies including Sidelink, a part of vehicle to everything (V2X) communications which will be important for connected vehicles and other IoT devices.  She is named as first inventor on over 300 patents and patent applications.

For both inventors, the motivation to choose a career in communications research came from their university studies, where they spent time in the laboratory investigating elements of communication. They both joined Panasonic to be able to continue to research in this area, at a company that led the Japanese market both for mobile phones and network infrastructure and was contributing to the development of international communications standards.

Both have been active in the work of 3GPP in developing technology standards and have experienced the rigorous way in which each element of the standard is selected through submissions from delegates from various companies such as themselves which undergo thorough technical evaluation. Nishio-san remembers many discussions that went past midnight in the search for the best solution from many submissions, and both have experienced the excitement of having their own submissions selected by the expert working groups after months of effort. They feel proud to know that they have contributed to defining standards that are used in many different products from a wide range of companies around the world, helping to transform people’s day to day lives.

Their colleague Yoshinori Nakagawa from Panasonic’s intellectual property department outlined Panasonic’s reasons for joining the Avanci marketplace. As the company’s business evolved and they exited the handset market in 2013, a pivot to monetising IP in part through licensing was a way to continue to share Panasonic’s innovations and fund future R&D, leveraging their team of expert inventors.

Auto makers are important partners for Panasonic across their business, and so they wanted to expand their licensing activity in a way that auto makers felt they could benefit from. Panasonic believes that Avanci offers an efficient way for auto makers to license the technologies used in their connected vehicles, while offering a fair return for patent owners such as Panasonic.

Panasonic also believes that the Avanci marketplace also offers a way for auto makers to reduce the risk of litigation from patent owners, bringing together many patent owners under one license at a fixed royalty rate, ensuring a level playing field. In addition, they feel that the Avanci patent assessment process, which uses a global network of independent evaluators to ensure essentiality of submitted patents, is another strong feature of the Avanci marketplace, also benefiting their wider licensing efforts beyond automotive and IoT.

Looking to the future, the team sees plenty of opportunity for Panasonic research and development. They expect to continue as an active contributor to communications standards development for 5G and beyond. In video codecs, an important technology for a company with so many market-leading video products, they see continuing research in H.266/VVC as fundamental to achieving more efficiencies in streaming more video content of ever higher resolution. And for a company with many automotive partners, the development of autonomous driving technologies for self-driving vehicles will also be important.

All this builds towards the Japanese government’s vision of Society 5.0. This reflects an ambition for the connected society of 2030 and beyond. which balances economic advancement with the resolution of social problems through a system that highly integrates cyberspace and physical space. Enabling this vision will be technologies including self-driving vehicles, industrial robotics, and smart surveillance cameras, all of which will rely on leveraging data gathered from images and the environment to automate many everyday tasks. Panasonic intends to be an active participant in the R&D needed to realise the vision of Society 5.0, using its valuable IP to help it and others to deliver on the vision.

In conclusion, we asked each inventor for their advice to any young person considering a possible career in science or research and development. Iwata-san would enthusiastically encourage them in such a path, from her own experience it can be a very satisfying career, leveraging an enquiring mind to identify a range of alternatives and then working to identify which is best for all parties, whether individual users or society as a whole. Nishio-san agreed; he believes that there is not always one right answer to a research problem, and that R&D is a great career option for anyone who enjoys thinking about possible solutions to problems and applying critical thinking skills.

Licensor Spotlight: DOCOMO drives future standards through commitment to innovation

In the latest of our series of articles, we spotlight the innovation of DOCOMO, another of the licensors in our independent, Avanci marketplace.

One of the world’s largest mobile operators, DOCOMO is at the forefront of driving the evolution of wireless technology and creating the Internet of Things, with a long history of contributing to the development of wireless communications standards. In October 2018, DOCOMO joined the Avanci marketplace as a licensor.

We recently spoke to two DOCOMO inventors about their work – what inspires them to create fundamental technologies and their thoughts on future developments in the mobile communications work.

DOCOMO R&D Center, Yokosuka, Japan
DOCOMO R&D Center, Yokosuka, Japan

Akihiro Higashi has worked for the company for more than three decades. His interest in mobile communications was sparked early on and he gained his amateur radio license when he was just 15 years old. He joined NTT from university in 1987 and began his research career on digital mobile communications, at a time when most networks were still analogue. When NTT DOCOMO was created in 1992, he moved to the new business to continue research on Wideband CDMA (W-CDMA) networks, working on technical harmonization within Japan and also working with several European companies. DOCOMO’s W-CDMA was ultimately adopted by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) as a standard and it is also part of the UMTS 3G standard.Following the formation of the 3GPP, Higashi-san participated in further standardization efforts for a couple of years, before moving from the research organization to the terminal development section, where he was responsible for commercializing three types of W-CDMA terminals during 2002.

With more than 80 patents to his name, he moved to DOCOMO’s intellectual property department in 2003, where he was involved in establishing the ‘Platform W-CDMA’ patent pool with other patent owners, such as, Mitsubishi Electric and Siemens. In 2010, he was among five NTT DOCOMO inventors who were recognized for their achievements by the Japanese Institute for Innovation and Invention. Since 2012, Higashi-san has been supporting DOCOMO’s patent licensing activities as a technical expert on W-CDMA and HSPA (High Speed Packet Access).


Lan Chen is President and CEO of DOCOMO Beijing Labs, where she leads the lab’s research on 5G evolution and 6G physical layer design, as well as on artificial intelligence including natural language processing and computer vision. Inspired by the early mobile devices that were beginning to appear when she graduated from high school, Dr. Chen decided to study mobile communications. Following her first degree in China, she studied for her master’s and PhD in Electronic Engineering at Kyoto University in Japan. After completing her PhD, in 1999 she joined the DOCOMO R&D Center in Yokosuka to begin her research career, focusing on wireless systems design for 4G/LTE.

DOCOMO Beijing Laboratory, China
DOCOMO Beijing Laboratory, China

In 2003, Dr. Chen returned to China to help setup DOCOMO’s Beijing Laboratory and for the next 10 years she served as director of its Wireless Systems Lab, leading the LTE research team. In 2013, she spent three years working on radio access network development, particularly for new functions of base station design. In July 2016, she returned to the research organization in her current role. In addition to being named as lead inventor on more than 130 patents, Dr. Chen has received external recognition from both the ITU Association of Japan and the Future Forum of China.

We asked both inventors about some of the key innovations that they had been responsible for, which have become essential patents licensed through the Avanci marketplace.

Higashi-san remembered that in early 1990s, Qualcomm published an IEEE paper on CDMA (which eventually became standardized as IS-95), outlining a technology that could achieve more user capacity than existing analogue or second-generation digital networks. As Japan’s leading mobile communications company, NTT DOCOMO saw a need to create a system that had more capacity and flexibility than IS-95 and began research on technologies that were ultimately standardized as W-CDMA.

One such innovation which he worked on was a novel approach to realize asynchronous systems between base stations. While IS-95 used GPS, DOCOMO wanted to be independent of the US government owned system. He and his colleagues began researching the use of longer scrambling codes to achieve asynchronous systems, though such an approach meant a longer synchronization time. Their innovation aimed to speed up the process of synchronization between base stations and terminals when they were first powered on, to improve performance for users.

He recalled long hours in the lab, using a lot of computer simulations to prove the potential of the system. Computers of that time were considerably below today’s performance, and their simulations required writing a lot of programs from scratch, which made it even more challenging, but after much effort, they were successful and their inventions became part of the W-CDMA standard and were widely adopted in the industry.

Dr. Chen’s 4G research focus was on improving the quality of experience and service for users. She identified that one area for focus was radio resource management for reducing interference between cells, so that the data rate for users could be improved. In 2001 she proposed and filed patents on an approach for intercell coordination, a novel idea which was hard to implement at the time. With progress in the network and the processing capability of base stations, several years later, multi-cell coordination was adopted as an optional feature in release 11 of the LTE standard.

Research can often feel an isolated activity – we asked both inventors how it feels when an invention that they have been responsible for is adopted into standards and then used by others in their products. Higashi-san felt proud of DOCOMO’s achievements with W-CDMA and said he felt very fortunate to have had such a broad career, from his early days in research, through commercialization of products to his work now in supporting DOCOMO’s patent licensing business.

Celebrating the DOCOMO Beijing Laboratory’s 18th anniversary.
Celebrating the DOCOMO Beijing Laboratory’s 18th anniversary.

Dr. Chen feels a sense of achievement and satisfaction when her patents are certificated as standard essential and licensed by other companies. She reflected that, in the DOCOMO Beijing Labs, research work does not end with the publication of academic papers.

The team works to further refine their results to meet the requirements of LTE-A, 5G and 5G Advanced and then work with other companies through the standardization organizations to reach consensus and finally have the patented technology become standard essential patent (SEPs). She feels that researchers at DOCOMO recognize the significance of what they do, contributing to the improvement of people’s lives around the world, as well as providing a financial return to DOCOMO through licensing which in turn helps to ensure the sustainability of the company and their research.

On the topic of licensing, their colleague Yuichi Nakamura from the intellectual property team reflected that DOCOMO has supported patent pooling for many years, including through their efforts with W-CDMA, as pools can offer efficiency and transparency in the sharing of innovation with others. However, he noted that pool licensing in the smartphone market had been challenging, as it was difficult to get larger patent owners to join. By comparison, with Avanci, their efficient and transparent approach has solved the problem faced by others and led to the inclusion of patent owners including Ericsson, Nokia and Qualcomm. This gave DOCOMO confidence that the marketplace could be successful and so they joined Avanci. They believe that having a single platform with a large number of licensors actively engaged gives Avanci a strong advantage and has helped in attracting many auto brands as licensees.

Discussion turned to the future, and the areas which are a focus for further research. Dr. Chen outlined that DOCOMO Beijing Labs continue to focus on 5G Advanced, with Release 18 anticipated in 2022. Beyond that, her team is already working on 6G research in two dimensions – extreme high capacity and extreme wide coverage, including space, air, and sea in addition to terrestrial mobile communications. Across all these domains will be the growing importance of artificial intelligence.

Finally, we asked what advice the experts would have for young people considering their career path, perhaps who are interested in the future of communications. Higashi-san reflected on the importance of following your own interests – from his early days as a radio ham to a 30+ year career at DOCOMO, his curiosity for the topic of mobile communications has never diminished.

Dr. Chen echoed this and outlined what the future holds. 6G will contribute to the wellbeing of society, enabling the fusion of the cyber and physical worlds. Many new use cases will emerge, based on the evolution from 5G and AI and sensing, which will not only enhance user experiences, but also improve the quality of life and the efficiency of society. For those who want to help build a new and a wonderful society, she suggests following the brand slogan of DOCOMO Beijing Labs: “Live up to youth, Innovation never ends.”

Avanci expands its patent license agreements with Volkswagen

Europe’s leading car maker extends existing relationship with Avanci to cover 4G essential patents

 

DALLAS, Texas, March 8, 2022 – Avanci today announced that Volkswagen AG has expanded its existing relationship with the Avanci one-stop licensing marketplace to include 4G standard essential patents (SEPs).

“Volkswagen has been a valued Avanci licensee since 2019, and we are very pleased to have expanded our relationship to license Volkswagen 4G connected vehicles under the essential patents of the 49 patent owners participating in the Avanci marketplace,” said Kasim Alfalahi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Avanci.

Avanci’s truly independent marketplace has transformed the way companies share technology by licensing intellectual property from many different patent holders in a single transaction, at low, fixed rates, paid once for the lifetime of the vehicle. By streamlining the technology sharing process, Avanci provides automotive manufacturers with an efficient and transparent way to access the wireless technology needed to bring their products online.

About Avanci:

Avanci believes that sharing patented technology in the Internet of Things era can be simpler. As an independent intermediary working at the intersection of different industries, our one-stop solution is designed to bring efficiency, convenience, and predictability to the licensing process. Since 2016, Avanci has been driving innovation forward by making connections through our marketplace. Companies with essential patents share their innovations with companies creating connected products for the IoT in one place, with one agreement, and for one fair, flat rate. In 2020, the World Economic Forum named Avanci a Technology Pioneer for its work in accelerating innovation for the Internet of Things.

Media contact:

Mark Durrant
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
media@avanci.com
+1 (469) 480-2558 / +44 7875 276867

Rory Litton

Max Olofsson

Rory Litton
Senior Patent Counsel

Rory has more than 20 years of experience working with patents, with a focus on wireless communications related patents. Rory has been with Marconi since 2017, supporting several of our businesses including Teletry, and joins Avanci to help us deliver on our vision of transforming how patent licensing is done.

Prior to joining us, Rory started out in the patents field as an Examiner at the European Patent Office working in the telecommunications field, and examining many 3G and 4G related SEPs. After returning to Ireland, Rory entered into private practice and spent ten years as an Attorney/Partner at an IP law firm in Dublin, where his broad range of clients included a number of telecommunications companies. Rory brings broad experience from differing perspectives in the field of patents.

Rory is a European Patent Attorney and a European Trademark Attorney, and received his bachelor of electronic engineering from University College Dublin. He is based in Dublin, enjoys spending time with his family, and still occasionally plays a ‘friendly’ game of rugby.

Avanci Announces LG Electronics as New Licensor

Leading innovator in cellular technologies and advanced automotive components to license its essential patents through Avanci’s one-stop marketplace

 

DALLAS, Texas, February 10, 2022 — Today, Avanci announced that LG Electronics has joined its one-stop licensing marketplace. Following this announcement, all existing Avanci licensees and those who join Avanci in future will be licensed to 4G, 3G and 2G essential patents created and owned by LG Electronics, together with 48 other patent owners already in the marketplace.

“We are excited to have LG Electronics, a long-term innovator and contributor to the development of cellular communications standards, as an Avanci licensor,” said Kasim Alfalahi, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Avanci.

Through its Vehicle component Solutions business, LG Electronics is a global supplier to the automotive industry and a market leader in the development of automotive connectivity solutions as well as advanced parts for electric vehicles and services, leveraging LG’s rich user experiences and technologies acquired from its diverse consumer electronics experience over many decades.

“LG Electronics is pleased to join the Avanci marketplace,” said Jay Cho, Senior Vice President and Head of the Intellectual Property Center at LG Electronics. “Through Avanci, our innovations in cellular essential technologies can be simply and efficiently shared with auto makers around the world.”

Avanci’s independent marketplace has transformed the way companies share technology by licensing intellectual property from many different patent holders in a single transaction, at low, fixed rates, paid once for the lifetime of the vehicle. By streamlining the technology sharing process, Avanci provides automotive manufacturers with an efficient and transparent way to access the wireless technology needed to bring their products online.

About Avanci:

Avanci believes that sharing patented technology in the Internet of Things era can be simpler. As an independent intermediary working at the intersection of different industries, our one-stop solution is designed to bring efficiency, convenience, and predictability to the licensing process. Since 2016, Avanci has been driving innovation forward by making connections through our marketplace. Companies with essential patents share their innovations with companies creating connected products for the IoT in one place, with one agreement, and for one fair, flat rate. In 2020, the World Economic Forum named Avanci a Technology Pioneer for its work in accelerating innovation for the Internet of Things.

Media contact:

Avanci
Mark Durrant
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
media@avanci.com
+1 (469) 480-2558 / +44 7875 276867

From our fourth to fifth year, and from 4G to 5G

As we pass the fourth anniversary of announcing our first Avanci licensee, it seems appropriate to reflect on how much has changed, for Avanci and the auto industry, during the last four years.

We launched Avanci in September 2016, as an independent marketplace with a vision to transform how patent licensing is done. In previous roles and at other companies, our team had experienced the ‘smartphone wars’ and believed things should, and could, be different for the burgeoning Internet of Things industry. It was a lofty ideal, building a more efficient approach to licensing essential connectivity patents for an era which would see the convergence of several different industries, including automotive and telecommunications. But we also believed that we had the right team of experienced, industry professionals to make it happen, and were encouraged by feedback from patent owners and auto makers alike.

The inclusion of 4G connectivity to vehicles has benefitted both consumers and automakers. For the consumer, this incredible technology powers their vehicle’s infotainment and emergency call systems. For the vehicle maker, the technology enables wireless diagnostics, data collection, and over-the-air updates to the vehicle’s systems. Automakers can also offer a range of connected services which can enhance their customer experience while earning them incremental revenue. Connected vehicles are an undeniable win-win for consumers and OEMs and serve as the precursor to tomorrow’s autonomous vehicles.

All of these connected features are underpinned by communications standards such as 3G, 4G and soon, 5G. These open standards are the result of billions of dollars invested in research and development over many years by dozens of innovative companies, largely from the telecommunications sector. They contribute their inventions to the standardization process to enable the widespread adoption that we have already seen in the smartphone world. In return, they seek a fair return from companies which utilize those standards in their products and who reap further benefits from that groundbreaking R&D. Automakers and others have then been able to create their own innovations, leveraging the communications technologies but without having had to invest in the R&D to develop them.

When BMW became our first licensee in December 2016, we had 11 patent owners in the Avanci marketplace and we published our fixed licensing rates of $15 per car, a one time payment for the lifetime of the car, to cover all of the current and future  2/3/4G essential patents of all of the patent owners in the marketplace.

Since then, I’m pleased to say that much has changed for Avanci. We’ve grown to have 25 automotive brands under license for their connected vehicles, which include not just cars but trucks, buses and even construction equipment. Our original patent owners have expanded their portfolios, and more patent owners have joined our marketplace, which now spans 47 patent owners, collectively responsible for the vast majority of 2G, 3G and 4G essential patents.

But over those years, one thing has remained constant. The 4G licensing rate of $15 per vehicle, paid once for the lifetime of the vehicle. Avanci’s value proposition is as straightforward now as it was then, but arguably even more compelling. An independent, one-stop marketplace for standard essential 2G, 3G and 4G connected car patents from many of the world’s most innovative companies, made available efficiently under one license at a low, fixed prices. Already, automotive brands responsible for more than 25 million connected vehicles have taken an Avanci license, recognizing the value the technology brings and the efficiency and affordability of the Avanci model.

It’s important to note that the Avanci rate represents a market driven solution, the result of lengthy engagement between patent owners and auto makers when we established the marketplace. Unlike a traditional licensor-run pool which typically sets rates unilaterally, Avanci worked with both licensors and licensees to arrive at its rates. I suspect that if we asked some of our 47 licensors, they might say that $15 is a little too low, and perhaps some of our 25 licensed brands would say the price is a little high. But, having been involved in hundreds of deals and many mediations, I can tell you that when both sides acknowledge that compromises were indeed made, the sweet spot has been found.

We now stand on the brink of 5G in the auto industry, which will ensure that drivers will have an even safer and more enjoyable driving experience. For automakers, 5G will unlock new revenue streams, create a closer connection to their customers, and allow them to stay ahead of their competitors as the automotive industry increases its focus on mobility rather than machines. As we continue discussions with a range of parties and prepare to launch our next program, licensing 5G connectivity for connected vehicles, we’d encourage all parties to talk to us about our solutions.

Avanci Announces new Patent License Agreement with Jaguar Land Rover

Jaguar and Land Rover become licensees of the Avanci marketplace, obtaining a license to essential patented technology for connected vehicles

 

DALLAS, Texas, November 3, 2021 — Today, Avanci announced that it has signed a patent license agreement with Jaguar Land Rover, increasing the total number of auto brands licensed through the Avanci marketplace to 25. By signing an agreement with Avanci, Jaguar and Land Rover receive licenses to the 2G, 3G, and 4G essential patents of the 43 patent owners that participate in the marketplace today, as well as patent owners that join Avanci in the future.

“We are very pleased to welcome Jaguar Land Rover, the UK’s largest automotive manufacturer with its two iconic British car brands as an Avanci licensee,” said Kasim Alfalahi, founder and chief executive officer of Avanci. “This agreement demonstrates our focus on streamlining the patent licensing process for the automotive market with efficient, predictable licensing solutions through our one-stop Avanci marketplace.”

Avanci simplifies the way automotive companies provide connectivity by including license rights to the vast majority of cellular standard essential patents in a single agreement.  More than 25 million connected vehicles around the world are licensed through the Avanci marketplace.

 

About Avanci:

Avanci believes that sharing technology in the Internet of Things era can be simpler. Our one-stop solution is designed to enable the success of the ecosystem, bringing efficiency, convenience and predictability to the technology licensing process. Since 2016, Avanci has been driving innovation forward by making connections through our marketplace. Those with essential patents can share their innovations, and companies creating connected products for the IoT can access the patented wireless technology they need to be successful – in one place, with one agreement and for one fair, flat rate. In 2020, the World Economic Forum named Avanci a Technology Pioneer for its work in accelerating innovation for the Internet of Things.

www.avanci.com

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Mark Durrant
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Avanci
media@avanci.com
+1 (469) 480-2558 / +44 7875 276867