BEAVERTON, OR July 22, 2020. The Media Coding Industry Forum (MC-IF) is inviting those holding patents (or patent applications) potentially essential to the Versatile Video Coding (VVC) standard to participate in an initial meeting of patent owners to foster the formation of a voluntary “patent pool”. MC-IF is taking this step because 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.
Some MC-IF members, and other holders of VVC essential patents, have already indicated they will participate in this fostering effort. To date, 17 companies, representing a diverse set of business models, sizes, and geographies, have indicated they will participate in the patent pool fostering effort.
The initial meeting will be held on Sept. 1, 2020 as a virtual meeting. Companies that have a well-founded belief that they hold one or more patents essential to the VVC standard, and desire to participate in this patent pool fostering activity, are invited to register at www.mc-if.org/fostering. This initial meeting will identify tasks and propose a schedule for VVC pool fostering. It is expected that the fostering effort will complete its work by the end of 2020 with the selection of the pool facilitator/administrator.
MC-IF is not facilitating or administering a patent pool. Rather, MC-IF is convening patent owners to select a commercial patent pool administrator with the goal of the formation of single pool comprising a critical mass of patent owners.
Stephan Wenger, Sr. Director IP & Standards at Tencent America, and Chair of the MC-IF IP Ecosystem Work Group, added “After years of work on VVC, the standard has achieved international approval as of July 12, 2020. So, the launch of this pool fostering effort to improve the licensing and adoption of VVC could not be better timed. MPEG can provide the best technology, but the market must provide licensing terms. Therefore, I welcome MC-IF’s initiative to foster a VVC patent pool.” Wenger noted, “I am pleased that Tencent will be joining MC-IF’s pool fostering effort.”
Welcoming the initiative, Jud Cary, VP and Deputy General Counsel at CableLabs, and Chair of MC-IF, said, “Versatile Video Coding is an exciting new codec that will enhance and create new audiovisual and other markets including immersive media and 360° video. MC-IF believes that a single pool covering VVC patents is key for the successful roll-out of VVC consumer devices and services. A single one-stop pool will efficiently avoid fragmentation among pools in patent licensing markets. We are pleased with the initial interest in MC-IF’s initiative from important patent holders.” Cary added, “We expect many more holders of VVC essential patents to participate in this important first step in VVC patent pool formation.”
A meeting registration form, frequently asked questions, and further information on the MC-IF initiative can be found at www.mc-if.org/fostering.
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), 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.