HEVC Advance Accepts Patents

Pete Moller of GE Licensing has been named as the group’s CEOHEVC Advance (the patent pool for IP rights holders who have contributed to the HEVC standard: HEVC Advance Offering Essential HEVC Patents) has announced royalty pricing. UltraHD TV makers would pay royalties of $1.50 per unit. Makers of other devices, such as STBs, would pay $1.10 per unit. Mobile device manufacturers would pay $0.80 per unit. Content providers would pay 0.5% of revenue. Patents are now being accepted for evaluation.

Analyst Comment

H.264 patents and licensing were arranged by a consortium of patent owners, called MPEG LA. The group promised the same licensing system for HEVC when the codec was first announced (effectively, hardware makers and software sellers pay the fee; streaming services and content producers do not).

However, HEVC Advance threatens to disrupt the status quo. Patent owners do not have to remain with MPEG LA; they can switch to another licence contractor if they prefer the potential for higher fees that HEVC Advance is promising. This is because the new group wants to charge royalties on everyone using the codec in a commercial way, as well as eliminating caps on maximum licensing fees. HEVC Advance claims to have already signed on General Electric; Technicolor; Philips; and Dolby.

It’s entirely possible that these companies are shooting themselves in the foot, however. HEVC is certainly a wide-spread codec, but is not the only one that can process UltraHD content – for example, Google has VP9 and V-Nova has Perseus. (TA)