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Group Seeks Unified HD DVD License

9 May, 2007 By: Erik Gruenwedel

MPEG LA, a Denver-based patent license administrator, is seeking to consolidate all patents and patent applications associated with next-generation optical media format HD DVD.

Various companies hold technological components included in HD DVD, and obtaining a license to produce content in the format requires multiple third-party agreements, according to the organization.

MPEG LA seeks to create a unified portfolio providing users with “nondiscriminatory” access to the technology, which includes high-def specifications for HD DVD ROM (read only), HD DVD Video, HD DVD-R (recordable disc), HD DVD-R for DL, HD DVD-RW (re-recordable), HD DVD-RW for DL, HD DVD-RAM (rewritable) and HD DVD-VR (video recording).

The portfolio will help evaluate all patents and patent applications associated with HD DVD to create uniform licensing details for third parties.

“We work with patent owners to facilitate a single license, including terms, rates, product agreements and how they would be structured,” said Bill Geary, VP of business development.

Geary said MPEG LA administers license agreements for eight technologies, including Mpeg 2 video, FireWire, Mpeg 2 systems, Mpeg 4 visual, advanced video codec (AVC), DVBT (European broadcasting standard) and VC-1 (previously known as Windows Media 9).

In February, MPEG LA announced it was creating a joint Blu-ray Disc license — for which various patents are held by 18 consumer electronics manufacturers and content holders, including Warner Home Video.

“Continuing in its mission to respond to the market's need for fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory access to patents essential to defined technologies, MPEG LA is pleased to accept an invitation to facilitate this effort so that users may have the benefit of a convenient marketplace licensing alternative to assist them with implementation of their technology choices,” said MPEG LA CEO Larry Horn.

MPEG LA said it expects most patents associated with HD DVD to be submitted for evaluation by June 29.

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