TWICE: Manufacturers of Blu-ray Disc products may soon find it easier to acquire licenses to the technology through a one-stop-shop licensing program being coordinated by key patent holders Panasonic, Philips and Sony.
Representatives for the three consumer electronics companies said Wednesday they are now working with other Blu-ray Disc patent holders to establish the licensing program.
The companies said the resulting single license will cover essential patents for Blu-ray Disc, DVD and CD, and is expected to be available around the middle of the year. A new independent licensing company is being set up and will be based in the United States with branch offices in Asia, Europe and Latin America, the companies said.
Gerald Rosenthal, former head of IP at IBM and more recently CEO of Open Invention Network, will be CEO of the licensing entity. “By establishing a new licensing entity that offers a single license for Blu-ray Disc products at attractive rates, I am confident that it will foster the growth of the Blu-ray Disc market and serve the interest of all companies participating in this market, be it as licensee or licensor,” stated Rosenthal.
The three founding companies said they expect the program “will stimulate the growth of the market for Blu-ray Disc products.” The companies are inviting any essential patent holders for Blu-ray Disc, DVD and CD patents to join the licensing pool as a licensor and shareholder.
The fees for the new product licenses are $9.50 (aroundfor a Blu-ray Disc player and $14 (around 11) for a Blu-ray Disc recorder. The license fees for Blu-ray Disc software will be 11 cents for a read-only disc, 12 cents for a recordable disc and 15 cents for a rewritable disc. As a result of the efficiencies obtained with the combined license offering, the royalty rates for Blu-ray Disc products are expected to be at least 40 percent lower than the current cumulative royalty rates for individual Blu-ray Disc, DVD and CD format licenses, the companies said.