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MPEG LA Works On HD DVD License Pool

Chevy Chase, Md. — The licensing body MPEG LA said it coordinated the first meeting of 16 essential patent owners for the HD DVD disc format, Sept. 11 in Los Angeles, to create a joint license for essential patents.

Initial participating companies include: LG Electronics, Microsoft, Mitsubishi Electric, NEC, Samsung Electronics, Sanyo Electric, Sonic Solutions, TDK, Thomson Licensing, Toshiba, Victor Company of Japan (JVC) and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

MPEG LA applauds the extraordinary cooperation of so many diverse companies working together to come up with an efficient way for users of the multitude of patents employed in HD DVD devices, discs and related implementations to address their licensing needs,” said MPEG LA CEO Larry Horn. “And the substantial progress made in this initial meeting bodes well for achieving it.”

MPEG LA said its objective “is for the license to reflect both relevant conditions in the marketplace and the value of the licensed technology in order to strike a balance between patent users’ interest in reasonable access to this advanced optical disc technology and patent holders’ interest in a reasonable return on their research and development investment that enables a joint license to be offered for the convenience of the marketplace as an alternative to negotiating separate licenses.”

Additional patent holder meetings are planned, and work on the joint license will continue, the organization said.

The organization said that while only issued patents that are essential to the HD DVD standard will be included in the license, in order to participate in the license development process, patent applications with claims that their owners believe are essential to the HD DVD standard and likely to issue in a patent also may be submitted for an evaluation.