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Friday, October 14, 2005
Thomson's And Fraunhofer's MP3 Patent Business At Risk

Sisvel has filed lawsuits for invalidating Thomson and Fraunhofer MP3 Patents - a multimillionaire business based on license revenues could be at risk.

Audio MPEG and its parent company Sisvel announced today that it has filed suit against Thomson and Fraunhofer asking for the invalidity and the revocation of the patents owned by these two companies in reference to the popular MP3 audio compression technology.

Up to now these patents have been licensed by Thomson on behalf of Fraunhofer and have been the source of a multimillion dollar business in license revenues for Thomson. If Sisvel's legal actions are successful, Thomson stands to lose one of its more profitable sources of income.

"After a complete study of Thomson's and Fraunhofer's patents related to the MP3 audio system," says Mr. Paolo d'Amato, managing director of Sisvel and well renowned scientist in the field of broadcasting technology, "our experts arrived at the conclusion that the contribution by Thomson and Fraunhofer to the MP3 system is trivial and does not deserve patent protection."

"MP3," continued Mr. d'Amato, "is the commercial name of MPEG Audio layer III, which is an additional level of compression of the MPEG Audio system invented and developed by Philips, France Telecom, Telediffusion de France, and IRT, and adopted by the ISO/IEC standard committee under the reference ISO/IEC 11172-3. The searches conducted by Sisvel's experts on the status of the technology at the time these patents were filed, using prestigious facilities such as the Austrian and Swedish Patent Offices, have made clear that the contribution of Thomson and Fraunhofer to the development of MPEG Audio layer III was based on already-known technology and is therefore not patentable."

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