6 Oct 2014

On 29th September 2014, licensing company MPEG LA LLC released details of a patent portfolio license covering technologies related to the new High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC) standard.

Video coding or video compression is an essential technology for video broadcast, streaming and playback. Released in 2013, HEVC is the latest in a series of industry standards for video compression that offers higher performance than its predecessors.

The license grants certain rights to patents held by 23 organisations, which MPEG LA believes to be essential to the practice of the new standard. Under the terms of the license, licensees pay a royalty to MPEG LA for end user products over a certain threshold (currently 100,000 units per year).

MPEG LA lists a total of 55 patents in the HEVC pool (see Figure), including 22 Korean patents and 12 US patents. We can expect to see the number of patents rise over the coming months, as patent applications filed during the development of HEVC are granted.

---- Professor Iain Richardson is the author of four books on video compression. He leads Vcodex, providers of expert advice on video compression and multimedia communications. http://vcodex.com