Friday, February 02, 2007

Digital Broadcasters | DVB Japan | Major Patent Breakthrough

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has received a notice from ULDAGE Inc in Tokyo of a major patent breakthrough (breakthru). This is: a "Patent Pool License for ARIB Standards", otherwise known as the "ARIB Essential Patent License", is now available. The license is going to be via a simple fee arrangement. Essentially the bureaucratic wrangling between patent holder and user is being eliminated in favour of a simple system agreed across the board by the patent holders in the ULDAGE Grouping.

What this further means is that key digital broadcasting device manufacturers in Japan holding key patents, plus France Telecom - have finally ALL agreed on royalty and patent payment conditions and fees to be paid by other manufacturers.

The Japanese manufacturing companies are household names - Hitachi, Matsushita Electric, Mitsubishi Electric, Nippon Hoso Kyokai (NHK), Sanyo Electric, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba and Victor Company.

As to the fee levels, manufacturers or distributors of digital broadcasting devices shall pay, JPY 200 Japanese Yen (about USD 1.50) per unit for a TV receiver to receive digital BS, CS and terrestrial broadcasts; JPY 100 per unit for a TV set receiving digital terrestrial broadcasting only and, JPY 50 per unit for mobile terminal receiving digital terrestrial broadcasting called One Seg only.

ULDAGE remarks and notes that the technology transition from analog to digital has made the patent issues more complicated.

The bottom line for ULDAGE Group of manufacturers is that by the establishment of this license scheme it will ensure "user" manufacturers and distributors of patented items will be able to ensure a stable supply of digital broadcasting devices to the market. ( Or, put another way, not get help up by backward and forward licensing negotiations and approvals for every new sales deal.)

ULDAGE Inc. welcomes having additional holders of 'essential patents' and hopes that this patent license program will expand further. Its remit is to provide royalty operation service, license administration service and market research service necessary for administration of joint license programs that relate to Japanese-based manufacturers of digital broadcasting and other related devices.

Digital Broadcasters Vendor News has on file the contact details of ULDAGE Inc as being: at Imperial Tower, 1-1-1 Uchisaiwai-cho Chiyoda- ku, Tokyo, Japan. http://www.uldage.com/

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