Via Licensing Calls for Essential Patents for MHP, GEM and OCAP
10 June 2004
SAN FRANCISCO (June 10, 2004):- Via Licensing Corporation is pleased to issue a call for essential patents reading on the Digital Video Broadcasting Multimedia Home Platform (MHP), Globally Executable MHP (GEM), CableLabs(R) OpenCable(TM) Applications Platform (OCAP(TM)) standards, and associated DVB specifications. The DVB Project and CableLabs led in fostering the initial steps in this process.
Via Licensing Corporation has been selected by a group of patent holders to develop licensing arrangements for patents essential to the implementation of one or more of the above referenced standards and specifications. Via will develop patent licensing programs around essential patents owned by the patent holders, a group that includes Comcast, France Telecom, Microsoft, OpenTV, Panasonic, Philips, Telediffusion de France, Teracom, Time Warner Cable and Thomson. By issuing a call for essential patents, Via will work with the essential patent holders to develop fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory license terms which will allow device manufacturers and software developers access to technology in order to develop compliant interactive television products and services. These standards and specifications define a generic interface between interactive digital applications and the terminals on which those applications execute. They enable digital content providers to address all types of terminals ranging from low-end to high-end set-top boxes, integrated digital TV sets and multimedia PCs. A list of published standards and specifications associated with the licensing arrangements is provided in the chart below.
Via Licensing responded to an effort initiated by DVB and CableLabs to develop licensing programs with the patent holders of essential patents for the standards. Carter Eltzroth, Legal Director for DVB stated, “We are delighted to see the significant progress toward bringing to market a license for the standards associated with MHP. The DVB Project encourages all organizations with patents that may be essential to these standards to participate in the program. By working together the essential patent holders will be able to bring a license to market which will accelerate the adoption of MHP products and services worldwide.”
CableLabs’ OCAP specification, which is based on Globally Executed MHP, is also included in the call for IPR and patent pooling effort. “The cable industry is committed to OCAP to bring innovative interactive applications to cable subscribers. The formation of a patent licensing pool around OCAP will allow device manufacturers and system operators to deliver affordable standards-based solutions. CableLabs looks forward to seeing fair and reasonable licensing terms from Via Licensing as soon as they are available,” said Dr. Richard R. Green, President and CEO of CableLabs.
The goal of Via Licensing’s call for patents is to identify the owners of patents that are deemed essential for the practice of the standards and specifications listed below. Essential patents are understood to be issued patents or patent applications that have one or more independent claims that would necessarily and unavoidably be infringed by the implementation or use of the standards.
In response to being selected to manage the formation of the licensing programs, Ramzi Haidamus, Vice President and General Manager of Via Licensing, said, “We are honored to be selected to develop licensing programs for the patent holders of the standards. Interactive television represents the next generation of the television era and we are delighted to be an enabling factor in this space. We look forward to working with the essential patent holders to bring a license that will accelerate the adoption of these exciting technologies by the mass market.”
Any entity that believes it has patents or pending patent applications that are essential to the normative portions of the standards and specifications which are listed in the table below is invited to contact Via Licensing Corporation in order to receive information about how to submit patents for an essentiality evaluation. Any company with a patent or patent application that has been determined to be essential may participate in a group consisting of essential patent holders that will convene to discuss the commercialization terms for licensing patents under fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms.
Please request such information by sending an email message to firstname.lastname@example.org, in which you specify your interest in making a submission for consideration of essentiality to the standard’s specifications.