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February 25, 2009
Royal Philips Electronics
- Patents for Blu-ray Disc™, DVD and CD formats covered in one license for Blu-ray Disc™ products
- One-stop-shop license enables discounted royalty rates for Blu-ray Disc™ products
- New license company single point of contact for licensees
February 25, 2009-Panasonic, Philips and Sony are currently working with other Blu-ray Disc™ patent holders to establish a one-stop-shop license for Blu-ray Disc™ products. This license, which covers essential patents for Blu-ray Disc™, DVD and CD, will be introduced in the middle of this year. The license program will be offered by a new independent licensing company that will be based in the United States with branch offices in Asia, Europe and Latin America. The CEO of the new license company will be Mr. Gerald Rosenthal, former head of IP at IBM and more recently CEO of Open Invention Network.
"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." said Mr. Rosenthal.
The three founding companies believe that the introduction of this simplified one-stop shop product license will stimulate the growth of the market for Blu-ray Disc™ products. Any holder of essential patents for Blu-ray Disc™, DVD and CD patents is invited to join this licensing entity as a licensor and also as shareholder.
The fees for the new product licenses are US$9.50 for a Blu-ray Disc™ player and US$14.00 for a Blu-ray Disc™ recorder. The per disc license fees for Blu-ray Disc™ will be US$0.11 for a read only disc, US$0.12 for a recordable disc and US$0.15 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% lower than the current cumulative royalty rates for individual Blu-ray Disc™, DVD and CD format licenses.
The Blu-ray Disc™ product licensing program aims to create a level playing field in the market for Blu-ray Disc™ products by introducing special measures to encourage companies selling Blu-ray Disc™ products to comply with their license obligations. The program also includes measures to easily identify unlicensed products in the market and a system to address those who may not have obtained proper licenses for Blu-ray Disc™ products.
In this one-stop-shop product license, the new license company will be a single point of contact for licensees, greatly reducing the burden on licensed companies that would otherwise have to report to multiple patent pools.
Panasonic Corporation is a worldwide leader in the development and manufacture of electronic products for a wide range of consumer, business, and industrial needs. Based in Osaka, Japan, the company recorded consolidated net sales of 9.07 trillion yen (US$90.7 billion) for the year ended March 31, 2008. The company's shares are listed on the Tokyo, Osaka, Nagoya and New York (NYSE Symbol: PC) stock exchanges. For more information on the company and the Panasonic brand, visit the company's website at http://panasonic.net/
Royal Philips Electronics of the Netherlands (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) is a diversified Health and Well-being company, focused on improving people's lives through timely innovations. As a world leader in healthcare, lifestyle and lighting, Philips integrates technologies and design into people-centric solutions, based on fundamental customer insights and the brand promise of "sense and simplicity". Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips employs approximately 121,000 employees in more than 60 countries worldwide. With sales of EUR 26 billion in 2008, the company is a market leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as lifestyle products for personal well-being and pleasure with strong leadership positions in flat TV, male shaving and grooming, portable entertainment and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at www.philips.com/newscenter
Sony Corporation is a leading manufacturer of audio, video, game, communications, key device and information technology products for the consumer and professional markets. With its music, pictures, computer entertainment and on-line businesses, Sony is uniquely positioned to be the leading electronics and entertainment company in the world. Sony recorded consolidated annual sales of approximately US$88.7 billion for the fiscal year ended March 31, 2008. Sony Global Web Site: www.sony.net/