Acer, Hewlett Packard, Intellectual Discovery and Longhorn IP have joined Avanci. Many of the licensing pool's patents are essential for connected cars. Currently, other members of the pool are fiercely litigating against Daimler in Germany.
2 December 2019 by Laura King
Patent pool Avanci has gained four new patent owners, according to a press release. Now Acer, Hewlett Packard, Intellectual Discovery and Longhorn IP are pooling their patent portfolios with the licensing platform.
Avanci is now licensing most 2G, 3G and 4G patents in a single agreement. These patents cover wireless technology and are standard essential patents (SEP). This technology plays a significant role in the automotive industry and Internet of Things (IoT).
CEO of Avanci, Kasim Alfalahi, says, “Avanci is streamlining the way companies share technology, providing an efficient solution that balances the interests of patent owners and IoT licensees, and fostering continued innovation.”
The new additions mean 35 companies now participate in the platform. According to Avanci, licensees can now access “the vast majority of cellular standard essential patents for the Internet of Things products in a single agreement,” thereby creating a one-stop shop for manufacturers.
Avanci claims its licensing model has “transformed the licensing landscape” by bringing efficiency and transparency to the way wireless technology is shared.
Numerous IoT verticals use the 2G, 3G and 4G wireless technology licensed by Avanci, including cars and connected homes. Large-scale technology companies like Qualcomm, InterDigital, Ericsson, Nokia, Siemens and ZTE as well as some NPEs like Unwired Planet and Conversant have signed up as licensors.
In recent years, Avanci has seen a number of car manufacturers forced to take a licence. This is due to mobile phone companies accusing the car manufacturers of patent infringement. In April 2019, Audi and Porsche agreed to take a global licence for connected cars patents following protracted negotiations.
A partial agreement with the parent company Volkswagen followed in May. Sources claimed that VW had accepted a licence for 2G and 3G patents. There was speculation that a licence for 4G patents was under negotiation. However, neither VW nor Avanci confirmed this.
Two members of the patent pool are currently litigating against Daimler at German patent courts. In April, Nokia has filed ten patent lawsuits at the regional courts of Düsseldorf, Mannheim and Munich. The Finnish company accuses Daimler of infringing its SEPs, and is demanding damages and the rendering of accounts. Nokia has filed four lawsuits with the Regional Court Mannheim. The Regional Court Düsseldorf and the Regional Court Munich will each hear three complaints.
At the same time, Japanese electronics company Sharp has sued Daimler several times in the Regional Courts in Mannheim and Munich over connected cars patents. Sharp accuses Daimler of infringing five SEPs.
Both disputes are connected to the licensing disputes between car makers and the Avanci patent pool. As a result of the claims, Germany has become the go-to country for connected cars claims.
Avanci sees itself as a provider of simple licensing solutions for industries such as the automotive sector, in which mobile communications are becoming increasingly necessary.
Some car makers such as Daimler, however, vehemently reject the pool’s licence offers. Above all, the question of which company in the production chain should take the licence currently seems to be the main point of contention between the pool and the automotive industry.