News

Hitachi, Ltd.
Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation
Time Warner Inc.
Toshiba Corporation
Victor Company of Japan, Ltd.(JVC)

June 11, 1999


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

DVD Patent Licensing Program Announced by Six Companies

Tokyo, June 11 -Six leading developers of DVD technology and formats, Hitachi, Ltd., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (Panasonic), Mitsubishi Electric Corporation, Time Warner Inc., Toshiba Corporation and Victor Company of Japan, Ltd. (JVC), today announced that they have commenced a worldwide joint licensing program for patents essential for DVD-Video players, DVD-ROM drives, DVD decoders and DVD-Video and DVD-ROM discs.

This joint licensing program has been commenced following receipt of an affirmative business review letter from the U.S. Department of Justice and filing a notification with the European Commission. The potential licensees will benefit from one-stop shopping for the essential patents owned by the six companies, which will facilitate the development of the DVD market.

The license portfolio consists of the six companies┬┤ essential patents for DVD-Video and DVD-ROM. Licenses for the portfolio will be available for products that comply with the specifications for the DVD formats promulgated by the DVD Forum.

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

The companies have authorized Toshiba to grant portfolio licenses on their behalf with Matsushita and Hitachi providing support as the first point of contact in certain regions, as follows:

  1. North and South Americas: Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd.
  2. Japan, Europe and Africa: Toshiba Corporation
  3. Asia (excluding Japan), Oceania and the Middle East (including Turkey): Hitachi, Ltd.

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

  • DVD-Video player and DVD-ROM drive: 4% of net selling price (with a minimum rate of US$4)
  • DVD decoder: 4% of net selling price (with a minimum rate of US$1)
  • DVD-Video disc and DVD-ROM disc: US7.5 cents per disc

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