Please email any questions you have to our Q&A Department.
MPEG-4 Visual Patent Portfolio License
Q: What does the MPEG-4 Visual Patent Portfolio License cover?
A: The MPEG-4 Visual Patent Portfolio License provides coverage for current MPEG-4 Visual Standard profiles that are covered by Portfolio patents. Included are simple, core, main, simple scalable, N-bit, basic animated texture, scalable texture, simple FA, advanced real time simple, core scalable, advanced coding efficiency, advanced core, advanced scalable texture, simple FBA, hybrid, advanced simple, fine granularity scalable, simple studio, and/or core studio profiles as defined in ISO/IEC 14496-2:2001 [Part 2 Visual dated 2001-12-01], 14496-2:2001/Amd.1:2002 [Studio profile dated 2002-02-01], or 14496-2:2001/Amd.2:2002 [Streaming video profile dated 2002-02-01].
Q: Who are the essential patent holders (“Licensors”) to the MPEG-4 Visual Patent Portfolio License?
A: Click here.
Q: How may a patent holder become a Licensor to the MPEG-4 Visual Patent Portfolio License?
A: Any party that believes it has patents which are essential to the MPEG-4 Visual Standard, and wishes to participate in the MPEG-4 Visual Patent Portfolio License upon successful evaluation, is invited to submit them for evaluation and inclusion. Click here to obtain terms and procedures governing the patent submission process.
Q: How is the MPEG-4 Visual Patent Portfolio License organized?
A: Click here for information.
Q: How are reasonable royalties apportioned throughout the product chain?
A: Rather than place the entire royalty in one place (e.g., on the decoder or encoder manufacturer), royalties are also payable at those parts of the product chain where value is received and those who receive the value can build the royalties into their business models. For example, encoder and decoder manufacturers pay royalties for the right to make and sell decoders and encoders, but video providers who receive remuneration for offering MPEG-4 video either directly (e.g., subscription or title-by-title fees) or indirectly (e.g., advertising or underwriting fees) pay a royalty for the right to use the decoders and encoders to receive and transmit the remunerated video. Where video is not offered for remuneration, however, no additional royalty is payable. Advertising or promoting one’s own products is not treated as a remunerated use for which royalties are payable; neither is personal consumer use (e.g., in connection with a video teleconference).
Q: What are the royalties for the MPEG-4 Visual Patent Portfolio License?
A: Click here for information.
Q: What are the obligations of the Licensors with regard to their essential MPEG-4 Visual patents?
A: Each Licensor is under an obligation to grant to MPEG LA a worldwide, nonexclusive license under all MPEG-4 Visual Essential Patents that it may own worldwide, with a right of MPEG LA to grant sublicenses under the MPEG-4 Visual Patent Portfolio License.
Q: What is the effect on Licensees when new patents are added to the MPEG-4 Visual Patent Portfolio License?
A: New Licensors and new patents are added at no additional cost during the current Term of the License. Licensees enjoy coverage under all patents from the effective date (January 1, 2000) forward.
Q: What is the Term of the MPEG-4 Visual Patent Portfolio License?
A: The current term runs through December 31, 2018 and is renewable on reasonable terms and conditions for successive 5-year periods for the useful life of any Portfolio patent.
Q: Is there a limitation on the amount that royalty rates may increase at each renewal?
A: If royalty rates were to increase, they will not increase by more than 25% at each renewal for similar license grants.