Home » Automakers deal with patent hurdle in quest for in-car tech

Automakers deal with patent hurdle in quest for in-car tech

STOCKHOLM/BERLIN, Sept 21 (Reuters) – Over a dozen automakers together with Toyota (7203.T) and Nissan (7201.T), have signed up with a platform for patent licences from 51 tech firms, aiming to simplify entry to wi-fi expertise and keep away from expensive authorized battles.

Conflicts have stemmed partially from completely different views amongst carmakers, suppliers and tech corporations over who ought to shoulder the price of licensing.

By way of impartial licensing market Avanci, carmakers achieve entry to patents for 2G, 3G and 4G expertise from the likes of Finland’s Nokia (NOKIA.HE), Sweden’s Ericcson (ERICb.ST) and Taiwan’s Acer (2353.TW) for every thing from navigation methods to sensors for automated driving.

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Avanci prices a flat payment of $20 per automotive, elevated this month from $15 beforehand, with the cash distributed amongst patent holders.

The brand new signings – which additionally embody Renault (RENA.PA), Stellantis (STLA.MI), and Honda (7267.T) – imply 80-85% of vehicles with 2G expertise or greater are licensed via the platform, Avanci vice chairman Mark Durrant stated in an interview.

The mannequin permits carmakers to keep away from the battles over royalties that came about between smartphone makers resembling Apple (AAPL.O) and Samsung (005930.KS) and telecoms firms, who negotiate one-on-one for licences.

“The auto market is simply too splintered for it to be price it for patent homeowners to barter with every particular person participant,” stated an trade supply, who declined to be named due to contractual agreements. “It is a matter of effectivity.

Mercedes-Benz (MBGn.DE), then Daimler, ended a years-long dispute over its patent use final 12 months with Nokia after being ultimately compelled to pay.

Volkswagen (VOWG_p.DE) was sued by Acer (2353.TW) for utilizing its 4G expertise with out the suitable licence. The carmaker in March signed with Avanci, which covers Acer’s patents, to be able to settle. learn extra

Whereas suppliers have traditionally paid for patent licences in areas like engine design, tech corporations would slightly deal straight with carmakers over telecoms patents, in keeping with an auto trade supply with expertise of licensing negotiations.

“Normally suppliers deal with patents within the growth course of – telecoms is the one space the place they do not,” the individual, who declined to be named, stated.

Avanci can also be working with firms on a brand new contract to cowl 5G patents, which might seemingly be dearer than the present patent portfolio.

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Reporting by Victoria Waldersee and Supantha Mukherjee; Modifying by Emelia Sithole-Matarise

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