Smart factory applications will be driven by disruptive technologies, such as AI-controlled robots, cloud-monitored machines, real-time sensors, automation technologies connected to the Cloud, and augmented reality, all of which will use connectivity standards to enable communication between all physical parts of a factory. To ensure connectivity in smart factories private low latency 5G networks connect machines and production streets to the cloud, Wi-Fi allows data transmission with high throughput within factories and video compression standards such as VVC will enable smart factory camara based robotic vision or automated video surveillance. Standards such as 4G/5G, Wi-Fi or VVC are subject to thousands of so called standard essential patents (SEPs). Yet many companies in the manufacturing industry have no access to SEPs, which creates legal risks and uncertainty as connectivity standards are fully implemented in existing smart factory systems. Moreover, many of the manufacturing companies that adopt standards subject to SEPs, have little experience with negotiating SEP licenses and limited information about the SEP ownership situation. Understanding the overall SEP landscape is however critical for the smooth adoption of connectivity standard, maintaining profitability, and protecting the capacity to sell new products, components or systems with enough access to third-party patent rights.

In this webinar we discussed the role of SEPs for the smart factory application, provided an overview of the landscape of declared SEPs, pooled SEPs as well as discussed standards development initiatives that are relevant or will become relevant for the manufacturing sector.

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