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BD4C Licensing Group Announces Blu-ray Patent Program

Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Thomson Licensing, Toshiba Corporation and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment (BD4C Licensing Group) announced that they have commenced a worldwide joint licensing program beginning on March 1, 2010 for Blu-ray Disc (BD) and DVD patents essential for BD decoders, BD encoders, BD players, BD read-only discs, BD recordable discs, BD drives, BD/DVD hybrid discs and BD recorders (“BD Products”), including BD Products that incorporate DVD functionality.

According to the statement, potential licensees will benefit from one-stop shopping for the essential patents owned or controlled by the four companies, which will facilitate the development of the BD market [see The Authoritative Blu-ray Disc (BD) FAQ for an overview of the state of Blu-ray Disc patent licensing].

The license portfolio consists of BD and DVD patents, owned or controlled by the four companies, that are essential for BD Products. Licenses for the portfolio will be available for products that comply with the specifications for the BD formats promulgated by the Blu-ray Disc Association (BDA).

Interested parties are also free to negotiate separate license agreements, rather than taking a single portfolio license, with each of the four companies, which have committed to provide such licenses for their respective essential patents under fair, reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms and conditions.

The companies have authorized Toshiba to act as licensor for the BD4C Licensing Group in licensing their essential BD patents for this joint licensing program.

Royalties under the terms of the portfolio license will be as follows:

Category Royalty
BD-Video Disc US$0.04 per disc
BD-ROM Disc US$0.04 per disc
BD-R Disc US$0.065 per disc
BD-RE Disc US$0.09 per disc
BD/DVD Hybrid Disc (including BD/DVD Hybrid ROM Discs and BD/DVD Hybrid Video Discs) US$0.08 per disc
BD Decoder US$1.00 per decoder, with an annual cap of US$10,000,000
BD Encoder US$1.50 per encoder, with an annual cap of US$15,000,000
BD-Video Player US$4.50 per player
BD-Video Combo Player US$6.00 per player
BD Video Recorder US$7.00 per recorder
BD-Video Combo Recorder US$6.00 per recorder
BD-ROM Drive US$4.00 per drive
BD Recordable Disc Drive US$6.00 per drive
BD-ROM Combo Drive US$5.00 per drive
BD Combo Recordable Disc Drive US$5.00 per drive

Note that the BD4C Licensing Group reserves the right to adjust the rates as necessary to encourage the broad participation in the program by interested companies with essential patents.

For more information contact:

North and South America, Asia (including Japan), Oceania and the Middle East:

Toshihiro Shinohara
General Manager
Toshiba DVD License Services, Inc.
5th Floor, Sumitomo-Hamamatsucho Bldg.
18-16, Hamamatsucho 1-chome, Minato-ku
Tokyo 105-0013, Japan
Phone: +81-3-5777-3286
Fax: +81-3-5401-2503

Europe and Africa:

Alfred Chaouat
Senior Vice President Licensing
Thomson Licensing
1, rue Jeanne d’Arc
92443 Issy-les-Moulineaux Cedex, France
Phone : +33-1-4186-5284
Fax : + 33-1-4186-5637
E-mail :