FRAND forever? Or other business models are possible?

By: Roberto Dini
LUXEMBOURG - Jan. 25, 2021 - PRLog -- In the context of the development of new technology standards, Intellectual Property Rights (IP Rights) are the engine that ensure and sustain technology innovation. FWL intends to move past FRAND assurances which haven't reduced friction between innovators and implementers.
In fact, the question of the implementation of FRAND assurances has created a diversity of interpretations, including different decisions taken by the courts. So much so that the recent judgment of the UK Supreme Court affirms a comprehensive principle of the meaning of FRAND: "This is a single, composite obligation, not three distinct obligations that the license terms should be fair, and separately, reasonable, and separately, non-discriminatory ".
So, the FRAND assurance, made during the standardization process of a new technology, has become a "headache" not only for the courts, but also for those who have to operate on the basis of what happened during the standardization process.
For this reason, Leonardo Chiariglione, who was for 32 years the convenor of the MPEG standardization group, has founded a new international and unaffiliated standards association called MPAI (Moving Picture, audio and data coding by Artificial Intelligence) which has adopted a new management model of the IP Rights associated with the works done within a standardization body. This new industrial property management model is called FrameWork License (FWL). This model intends to overcome all the uncertainties generated by the FRAND declaration, because guidelines on how the future licenses relating to the Standard Essential Patents (SEPs) should be applied are already established at the outset of the standardization work.
With these more precise guidelines already decided in the course of the standardization process, MPAI plans to help both the holders of SEPs and the implementers of the new standardized technologies to find an agreement for the use of SEPs, avoiding the frictions that we have sometimes seen.
As a consequence of the standardization works, a Call for Technologies supporting the MPAI AI Framework (AIF) standard was recently issued, along with AIF Framework License for its potentially essential IPRs.
The technical goal of MPAI-AIF is to enable the set up and the execution of mixed processing and inference workflows made of Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence and legacy Data Processing components called AI Modules (AIM).
The MPAI AI Framework standard will facilitate integration of AI and legacy data processing components through standard interfaces and methods. MPAI experts have already validated MPAI's innovative approach in a sample micro controller-based implementation that is synergistic with MPAI-AIF standard development.

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