The DVB Project has announced the adoption of new procedures in its efforts to promote the wide availability of technology based on DVB standards. This initiative is the result of a broad review, still on-going, undertaken by DVB on its policy governing intellectual property rights (IPRs).
DVB launched the review in response to members' concerns about the perceived delays and uncertainties in relation to the launch of the MHP licensing programme. The review has also addressed questions directed to DVB by the European Commission on DVB's IPR policy and the need for timely disclosure of licensing terms for essential intellectual property rights.
DVB has long fostered the development of voluntary licensing programmes (patent pools); one noteworthy programme grants licences to patents essential to its DVB-T standard. As a result of the IPR review, DVB has now added new procedures to its activities to encourage patent pools:
Those responding to a “Call for Technology” may be requested to confirm a willingness to enter into a patent pool; The early launch of the pooling effort can be promoted through the convening of information meetings while a specification is still under development; Once a pool is in formation by rights holders and a facilitator, the DVB Project Office will monitor the progress of the pool and, where required, lend technical and other support to help completion of the programme; and Assertions of essentiality of patents included within a pool may be subject to “peer review” by DVB specialists.
These measures are intended to be used selectively and to complement the other means DVB has used in the past to promote patent pools. In exceptional cases, DVB also assists in the preparation of the licensing framework.