What Can Be Done
CUT FATT was formed to urge the FCC to take immediate action to protect consumers from abusive ATSC patent licensing practices.
Why the FCC Should Act Now
The FCC should take two steps.
- First, it should issue a declaratory ruling affirming its commitment to enforce patent holders’ “free or RAND” licensing obligation. The FCC should state that royalty demands for “essential” patents that exceed international comparables are presumed to violate the FCC’s existing “free or RAND” order. An “essential” patent holder demanding higher fees should have the burden of proving that its fees are reasonable and nondiscriminatory if those fees are challenged.
- Second, the FCC should adopt rules that encourage all essential patent holders to form a license pool, and the public should have the opportunity to comment on whether the pool terms meet the FCC’s “free or RAND” requirement. Any patent holder that chooses not to join a pool should be required to publish its licensing terms. Additionally, demands that exceed international or industry comparables by more than 50% should be deemed to violate the FCC’s “free or RAND” licensing standard.
The process should require all parties claiming to hold “essential” patents to come forward and state their licensing terms, and should help clarify which patents are actually “essential” to comply with FCC regulations.
What Can You Do
Help protect yourself and other Americans from uncontrolled price gouging. Write to encourage the FCC to hold ATSC digital television patents holders to their "free or reasonable" obligation.
What Congress Can Do
The House of Representatives and the Senate can call on the FCC to take action to prevent DTV patent holders from overcharging American consumers.
American consumers are willing to pay a fair rate, but they are not willing to be victim of uncontrolled price gouging. These abuses by DTV patent holders will continue unless and until the FCC takes action.