IPR Policy of the DVB Project: Negative Disclosure, FR&ND Arbitration Unless Pool Rules OK
July 1, 2008
J. of IT Standards and Standardization Research, 7(2), 1-22, July-December 2009 (Part II)
J. of IT Standards & Standardization Research, 6(2), 21-47, July-December 2008
The DVB Project is a European-based standards forum that for over 15 years has been developing specifications for digital video broadcasting, many now implemented worldwide. Its IPR policy has several novel elements. Part I of this article describes “negative disclosure,” the obligation of each member to license IPRs essential to DVB specifications unless it gives notice of the unavailability of the IPR. This approach contrasts with the more common rule (e.g., within ANSI accredited bodies) calling for IPR disclosure and confirmation of availability on FR&ND terms. Other notable features of the IPR policy of DVB are arbitration and, discussed in this Part II, fostering of patent pooling. This article provides a commentary on the DVB’s IPR policy and on its application. This Part II also describes the work of the DVB in resolving IPR “gateway” issues when the perceived dominance of technology contributors, notably through control over IPRs, risked, in the view of some members, distorting new digital markets. In two cases, DVB has created a licensing mechanism to dispel these concerns. In addition to the quality of its technical work, DVB’s success lies in its novel IPR policy and its ability to achieve consensus to resolve gateway issues.
Keywords: Digital video broadcasting, FRAND, RAND, IPR, patents, patent pools, standards, television, DVB, competition, antitrust
Date posted: November 4, 2012