3 F.C.C. 2d   

Excerpted from pages 26 and 27 and 28

Scanned Original Text 3 F.C.C.  2d

Federal Communications Commissions Reports


  Washington, D.C., 20554 December 1961    

PUBLIC Notice    

Revised Patent Procedures of the Federal Communications  Commission

The Federal Communications  Commission announces that it is strengthening its patent procedures to assure that the availability of  broadcast equipment and radio apparatus meeting performance standards established by the Commission’s rules and regulations will not be prejudiced by unreasonable royalty or licensing policies of  patent holders. Essentially, the new procedure, which supplements existing patent procedures of long standing,  provides for enlarging the staffing order that the Commission may keep currently abreast of all patents issued arid technical developments, in the Communications field which may have an impact on  technical standards approved by the Commission in  the various services.  

Under the Communications Act of 1934,  as amended (47 U. S. C. 303 (g)),  the Commission  is charged with the responsibility to “study”  new uses for radio, provide for experimental uses of frequencies, and generally encourage; the larger and  more, effective use of radio in the public interest.  In this connection the Commission promulgates  technical standards; for broadcasting and other radio communication services to establish requirements which its licensees must meet in order to provide the kind and quality of service desired.  Such requirements may frequently be met only by the use of patented equipment. Therefore, in promulgating these technical standards and regulations, the Commission necessarily gives  consideration to  the effect of patent rights upon the availability of equipment that will  meet the specified performance standards. In order to determine how these rights are exercised,  information relating to licensing and royalty agreements is essential.                  

The Commission’s patent policy for a number of years has been to obtain patent information whenever it becomes relevant to a particular proceeding. For example, the Commission utilized this method of obtaining patent information from system proponents in recent rule-making proceedings to establish standards to permit FM broadcast stations to transmit  stereophonic  programs on a  multiplex basis  (docket 13506). In addition, the Commission has required the principal common carriers, such as American Telephone & Telegraph Co., International Telephone & Telegraph Co., Radio Corp. of America,  and Western Union to file semiannual patent reports. These procedures will continue to be utilized.  

In view of the rapid technological advances in the communications  field, the Commission has determined to augment its staff in order to permit, a regularized, continuing, and current study of new technical developments relevant to its jurisdiction. Patent Office publications and records and technical journals will be studied and information of interest will be compiled in the Commission's files.   Copies of relevant patents  as  issued will be secured.  The Commission's  staff will  ascertain  the assignment or licensing arrangements for significant patents either by examination  of the Patent Office records or by direct inquiry to the patentee, licensees, or assignees.  

Whenever it appears that the patent structure is or may be such as to indicate obstruction of the service to be provided under the technical standards  promulgated  by  the Commission,  this fact will be brought  to the Commission's attention for early consideration and appropriate action.  

Through  these revised and strengthened procedures, the Commission believes  that it will be able to secure the information necessary to protect  fully the public interest in this all-important area.  

Scanned Original Text 3 F.C.C.  2d



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