From a local company to a world leader in patent licensing
While today it is an independent company, Sisvel has had deep roots in the consumer electronics industry since its incorporation in 1982 as a joint venture among the principal Italian manufacturers of television sets.
Indesit and the Italian economic boom
Sisvel’s story begins with Italy’s post World War II economic boom. Thanks to the country’s growth, Indesit rapidly became a leader in the manufacturing of white goods, particularly refrigerators. Seizing on this early success, Indesit’s visionary founder and CEO, Armando Campioni, charted a course to expand Indesit’s reach into the brown goods market by manufacturing televisions of the highest technical and aesthetic quality. To realise his vision, he formed an R&D division within Indesit dedicated to advancing innovation in the television industry.
Launch and decline of Indesit’s TV industry
The significant commitment to advanced R&D produced an excellent product. Unfortunately, Indesit’s television business faced several insurmountable obstacles in gaining market penetration. Rather than continue down an unsustainable path, Indesit quit the television industry to focus on its core white goods business. As part of the ensuing reorganisation in the early 80s, Indesit divested all its consumer electronics assets, including its extensive portfolio of television-related patents.
As the head of Indesit’s patent and trademark department, Roberto Dini was well aware of the inherent value of Indesit’s portfolio and so he persuaded three of the principal Italian consumer electronics companies (Seleco, Imperial and Brionvega) to collectively acquire Indesit’s innovative television-related IP assets, consisting of more than two hundred patent families. Sisvel was founded by Roberto Dini to manage this large portfolio.
Creation of a new business model
Through managing Indesit’s acquired patents and defending its member companies, Sisvel rapidly become a tool to protect the Italian market, ensuring that royalties for the use of patented technologies developed by Italian companies were assessed on the basis of imports of low-priced products made in the Far East.
The evolution of Sisvel’s licensing activities
The beginning of the 1990s marked the start of Sisvel’s major licensing activities. The main licensees were Korean and Japanese companies and, later on, European television manufacturers. During these years, Sisvel expanded its field of activity by developing and licensing its own patent portfolio.
Start of third party patent licensing activity
Sisvel was so successful in managing Indesit’s patents that major international players in the consumer electronics industry, such as Philips, Orange (formerly France Télécom), TDF and IRT, turned to Sisvel to license some of their most valuable digital audio technology IP portfolios.
From an Italian to an international company
With the growth of its global activities, Sisvel expanded its international footprint by opening its first international office on the outskirts of Washington D.C. This was rapidly followed by offices in Asia (Hong Kong and Tokyo), as well as the strengthening of its presence in Europe.
40 years in powering innovation
In April 2022, Sisvel celebrated the 40th anniversary of its foundation. Over the years, the Group has become a world leader in powering innovation by providing tailored licensing solutions for the delivery of cutting-edge technologies. Sisvel works with leading companies and research institutions to unlock the full potential of their patents, while reducing frictions within the innovation ecosystem and facilitating IP deal making.
Sisvel is organised as a multinational company with 8 offices on 3 continents.
The Group develops, promotes and manages licensing programmes in key technological areas such as mobile communications, IoT, Wi-Fi, digital video and broadcasting, and audio and video coding/decoding