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Friday, July 21, 2006
First Meeting of Blu-ray Disc Patent Holders Held

Patent player MPEG LA announced that the first meeting of essential Blu-ray disc patent owners, consisting of 17 companies, was held in Los Angeles earlier this month.

The meeting?s purpose was to create a joint license providing fair, reasonable, non-discriminatory access to essential patents, as an alternative to negotiating separate licenses.

Participating companies included CyberLink; Dell; Hewlett-Packard; Hitachi; Koninklijke Philips Electronics; LG Electronics; Matsushita Electric Industrial (Panasonic); Mitsubishi Electric; Pioneer; Samsung Electronics; Sanyo Electric; Sharp; Sony; TDK; Victor Company of Japan; and Warner Home Video.

"This extraordinary effort, and the substantial progress made in this initial meeting, by so many diverse companies bodes well for offering an efficient way to address intellectual property licensing needs for advanced optical devices, discs and related implementations," said MPEG LA CEO Larry Horn in a statement. "MPEG LA welcomes the opportunity to facilitate any and all efforts to assist users with their advanced optical disc technology choices in order to give consumers the benefit of innovative information and entertainment applications."

Patents related to the Blu-Ray disc format have not been widely known until know, especially when it comes to the licensing fees required to be paid by any Blu-Ray hardware or software makers or even disc replicators. The Blu-Ray Disc Association possibly did not give any details on the lisencing issues in order to avoid early confusion or complaints between the industry early adopters of the technology. A negative impact could be a problem for a new format such as the Blu-Ray. However, any agreement among participating companies on the Blu-Ray Disc camp would be an advantage. The HD DVD front, lead by Toshiba, recently announced a $150 million campaign to advance its efforts.

MPEG LA said, on behalf of essential Blu-ray patent owners, that it welcomes the input and views of interested parties, including potential licensees, in all related industry sectors.

Additional patent holder meetings are planned, and work on the joint license will continue, MPEG LA said, pointing interested parties to its site for details.

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