The Historical Archive was the brainstorm of several IMTC member companies who were concerned over the increasing number of expensive time consuming disputes over intellectual property rights. Such disagreements spell success or failure for companies and delay the progress of the industry.
“Our member companies invest huge amounts into this future market and we cannot allow their results to be jeopardized by lengthy patent disputes with uncertain outcomes. The field of telecommunications is not only a competitive multibillion-dollar market, it also involves highly complex technologies, where the standards created by Standard Defining Organizations (such as ITU-T, ISO/IEC, etc.) are full of claimed “real” and “unreal” IPRs”.
Dr. Istvan Sebestyen, former-President, IMTC
The antidote lies in providing access to pivotal historical data. Much of the initial standards development product is captured in the working groups of standards committees. Until now, much of this work has been lost, clouding accurate identification of intellectual property ownership. The IMTC is addressing this issue by creating a tool for its members.
The IMTC Multimedia Historical Standards Archive Contains
- Contributions to meetings
- Records of IPR licensing declarations
- Copies of standard organizations patent databases
- Publications such as journal articles, books, etc.
Much of this information originated 10 to 25 years ago. For example, the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) keeps fairly good records on ITU-T SG level, (except for the “Temporary meeting documents” and “Delayed Contributions”), but none on the Rapporteurs Group level, which is the most important for IPR work. In addition, prior to 1995, the majority of records were still paper, making them almost inaccessible for today’s purposes.
Due to the huge amount of information, and the difficulty to find old documentation, archives containing this kind of information are incomplete, and must be built up step by step.
The IMTC Archive has already started its first archive contributions. They mainly consist of the organization’s own records plus records provided by members. As an example, IMTC has been able to secure a very complete scanned documentation of the origin of the ITU-T H 261 standard that became the “father” of MPEG1, MPEG2, H 263 and MPEG4. Also, the ITU-T documentation leading to ITU-T H.320 Multimedia Systems have been scanned. This scan contains technical contributions, meeting reports, participant lists, IPR statements, etc. This kind of information is indispensable for any company today involved in defense of video coding IPR.
How do I access the Historical Archive?
The IMTC historical archive area is available to any member of a participating company that has joined IMTC at the IMTC Full Membership level (US $8,500). This is the only membership level that permits members to access the IMTC Historical Archives. A member’s dues must be paid and current in order to continue to access the archive. The historical archive is password protected and located in the Members Area.