MPEG LA puts out call for ATSC 3.0 patents

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The group is asking holders of relevant patents to submit them to MPEG LA by September 8, 2017.

License pool MPEG LA has issued a call for patents that are “essential to ATSC 3.0,” the new set of TV standards being developed by and for broadcasters.

MPEG LA is hoping to create a joint license to the intellectual property of ATSC 3.0 developers. The group is asking holders of relevant patents to submit them to MPEG LA by September 8, 2017. The group said it will only add issued patents to the license, but that patent applications with “claims that owners believe are essential to the ATSC 3.0 standards and likely to issue in a patent also may be submitted in order to participate in the license development process.”

“ATSC 3.0 represents a significant technological leap over current ATSC broadcast standards, developed some 20 years ago,” said Larry Horn, president and CEO of MPEG LA, in a statement. “MPEG LA is pleased to begin the process of creating an efficient one-stop license offering access to key intellectual property rights that will help make ATSC 3.0’s benefits available to consumers without delay.”

RELATED: Sinclair and Nexstar take a big step toward the next generation of TV

The ATSC 3.0 standards are promising to enable features and services for broadcast TV including enhanced video and audio quality, mobile TV, more efficient spectrum use, and targeted advertising. The standards are currently under review at the FCC and could be approved for deployment later this year.

While MPEG LA sets to rounding up disparate patents, broadcasters like Sinclair and Nexstar have begun to coordinate on the planning process for the transition from ATSC 1.0 to 3.0.

Jerry Fritz, executive vice president of strategic and legal affairs at Sinclair, said the first step is to find “like-minded broadcasters who are intent on deploying ATSC 3.0.” After that, it’s a matter of sitting down with all the broadcasters on a market-by-market basis and determining which station is best for hosting ATSC 1.0 and which is best for 3.0.