Matsushita, Cinram End Patent Dispute14 Jul, 2004 By: Holly J. Wagner
Matsushita has announced the settlement of a patent infringement suit it brought against replicator Cinram International over DVD patents.
Cinram's counterclaim alleging antitrust law violations was dismissed in January. The antitrust claims, which the district court found did not have any merit, challenged the operation of the DVD6C Licensing Agency. Under the terms of the settlement, Cinram will pay an undisclosed amount to Matsushita Electric in exchange for its use of Matsushita's essential and non-essential patents regarding DVD disc replication.
Matsushita Electric sued Cinram in a federal court in Delaware in December 2001, alleging Cinram had infringed several Matsushita patents, including patents essential to DVDs that are licensed by the DVD6C Licensing Agency, of which Matsushita is a member. Cinram then took a 6C Pool license, but Matsushita pressed its claims that Cinram had used nonessential DVD patents not included in the 6C Pool License without paying royalties.
"It is our company's policy to protect its valuable intellectual property rights. We will not hesitate to take legal action when those rights are not respected. We are pleased that the outcome of this litigation allows us to put this matter behind us and work with Cinram as a licensee," said Dr. Osamu Yamazaki, director of the Corporate Intellectual Property Division of Matsushita, who further noted that DVD replication is a fast-growing and important market for consumer electronics, computer and optical storage media companies.