The roll-out of DualDisc hybrid DVD/CD media later this year could yet be hampered by a German company that claims ownership of the technology if talks between the intellectual property firm and major music industry players break down.
Each DualDisc is double-sided disc with a CD on one side and a single-layer DVD or DVD Audio on the other. The DVD specification limits disc thickness to 1.5mm, which is possible to meet using a slightly thinner CD layer than is found on regular CDs and a single-layer DVD.
Enter Germany's DVD Plus International which says it owns a European patent that describes a product just like DualDisc, called DVD Plus. The company has already filed a patent application for the technology in the US, though as yet it has not been granted.
DVD Plus chief Dieter Dierks filed his patent in March 1999, though was only granted the patent in June this year. Interestingly, the inventor is listed as one Robert Siebel. Seidel has a number of US patents for optical media techniques to his name, all of which were assigned to WEA, Warner Music's distribution and manufacturing arm.
DVD Plus says it reached a deal in 2000 with WEA which allowed the Warner subsidiary to market the hybrid DVD/CDs provided it marked the resulting products with the DVD Plus logo. DualDisc.com is registered to Warner Music's Strategic Marketing division in the US.
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