MPEG LA, LLC has issued a call for patents essential to the Multiview Video Codec (â€śMVCâ€ť) standard used to deliver 3D video images on Blu-ray discs.
The patent-pool manager invites any party that believes it has patents that are essential to the MVC Standard to submit them by Feb. 18, 2011 for their potential inclusion in a joint MVC patent license. Although only issued patents will be included in the license, in order to participate in the license development process, patent applications with claims that their owners believe are essential to the MVC standard and likely to issue in a patent also may be submitted, MPEG LA says.
Further information, including terms and procedures governing patent submissions, can be found here.
A divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently held that patent pools may legitimately bar licensees from using or licensing competing technology, handing Philips a victory in its years-long legal battle against recordable CD maker Princo.
Philips â€” which together with Sony licenses CD-R patents as the â€śOrange Bookâ€ť standard â€” issued Princo a license in the late 1990s, but sued the manufacturer at the International Trade Commission after Princo stopped paying royalties. Princo accused Philips of patent misuse, arguing that the Orange Book licensing agreement had anticompetitive effects. The majority of the Federal Circuit found the opposite â€” although two dissenting justices wrote that a patent misuse defense should be available when patent pools effectively seek to suppress alternative technology.
Sean Gates, an antitrust and intellectual property specialist at law firm Morrison & Foerster, gives a comprehensive overview of the caseâ€™s background and ramifications at Lexology. Law.com has responses from the parties and interested trade groups.
Walt Disney Co., some of News Corp.â€™s Fox units and NBC Universal Inc. have been sued by a trust associated with Alcatel-Lucent SA, accused of infringing patents for video compression technology.
Multimedia Patent Trust, of which Alcatel is a 99 percent beneficiary, claims DVD and Blu-ray discs sold by the movie and television studios are infringing its patents. Via BusinessWeek