PREMIER BD Joint Patent Licensing Program Frequently Asked Questions
- Q1: When was PREMIER BD (Former BD4C) established?
- A1: PREMIER BD was established on March 1, 2010, the same day that the PREMIER BD Joint Patent Licensing Program commenced.
- Q2: Why are PREMIER BD member companies licensing patents jointly?
- A2: Joint licensing benefits those parties that would like to enter into licenses under patents owned by more than one member company. Unless the PREMIER BD member companies license their patents jointly, such interested parties would need to contact and negotiate with each company separately, and enter into separate agreements with each of them. By licensing jointly, we are able to provide a simple and efficient process for obtaining licenses to these patents from all of the PREMIER BD member companies.
- Q3: Who needs a license to the patents offered by the PREMIER BD Joint Patent Licensing Program?
- A3: Any party that makes, has made, uses, imports, offers to sell, sells or otherwise disposes of products that are covered by the licensed patents, including all BD products that conform to the BD Standard Specifications and the DVD Standard Specifications applicable to BD products.
- Q4: What products are covered by the licensed patents?
- A4: BD-Video Players, BD-Video Combo Players, BD-ROM Drives, BD-ROM Combo Drives, BD-ROM Discs, BD/DVD Hybrid Discs, BD-Video Discs, BD Decoders, BD- Video Recorders, BD-Video Combo Recorders, BD Recordable Disc Drives, BD Combo Recordable Disc Drives, BD Encoders, BD-R Discs and BD-RE Discs.
- Q5: What is the difference between BD-Video Players and BD-Video Combo Players? Likewise, what is the difference between BD-Video Recorders and BD-Video Combo Recorders?
- A5: BD-Video Combo Players are playback and recording devices specifically designed and manufactured not only for the reproduction of information stored on BD Read-Only Discs/BD Recordable Discs and DVD Read-Only Discs/DVD Recordable Discs, but also for the recordation of information on DVD Recordable Discs. BD-Video Players are playback devices designed and manufactured only for the reproduction of information stored on BD Read-Only Discs/BD Recordable Discs and DVD Read-Only Discs/DVD Recordable Discs.
- BD-Video Recorders are playback and recording devices designed and manufactured for the reproduction of information stored on BD Read-Only Discs/BD Recordable Discs and DVD Read-Only Discs/DVD Recordable Discs and for the recordation of information on BD Recordable Discs and DVD Recordable Discs. BD-Video Combo Recorders are playback and recording devices designed and manufactured for the same reproduction and recording capabilities as BD-Video Recorders, except they cannot record on DVD Recordable Discs.
- Q6: How does PREMIER BD intend to respond to DVD6C licensees that would like a license for BD essential patents only?
- A6: If we receive such a request, we will accommodate it.
- Q7: When will the PREMIER BD Patent License Agreement expire?
- A7: The initial term of the current agreement expires on December 31, 2017, but will automatically renew for additional five-year periods in the absence of a timely termination notice from the licensee.
- Q8: Are interested parties free to negotiate individual license agreements separately rather than taking a portfolio license?
- A8: Yes. Interested parties may opt to negotiate individual licenses with PREMIER BD members if they prefer. The PREMIER BD members have committed to make such individual licenses available on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
- Q09: What should interested parties do if they would like to enter into a PREMIER BD Patent License Agreement?
- A09: Interested parties should contact the PREMIER BD licensing representative for their region.
- Q10: Tell me about the patents that are covered under the PREMIER BD Joint Patent Licensing Program.
- A10: The PREMIER BD Joint Patent Licensing Program covers all essential patents owned or controlled by the PREMIER BD member companies that would, if not licensed, necessarily be infringed when (i) implementing the BD Standard Specifications (or, as applicable, the DVD Standard Specifications), or (ii) claiming technologies for which there are no realistic alternatives in implementing such Standard Specifications. Whether particular patents qualify as being essential is determined based on evaluation by impartial and independent patent experts.
- Please note that the PREMIER BD Joint Patent Licensing Program does not include patents solely relating to video or audio compression (including without limitation MPEG-2, AVC/H.264 or VC-1 video compression, and AC-3, Dolby Digital, Dolby True HD, DTS or DTS-HD audio compression) or content protection (including without limitation "CSS" (Content Scramble System), "CPPM" (Copyright Protection for Pre-recorded Media), "CPRM" (Copyright Protection for Recordable Media), "AACS" (Advanced Access Content System) or BD-ROM Mark or BD+ content protection systems) that may be applicable to BD products. Additionally, the Program will not include patents directed solely to communication protocols listed in the "References" section of the BD Standard Specifications (including HTTP) unless such patents are essential for an application described in the BD-Live specification.
- Q11: Why did PREMIER BD not include other patents in this PREMIER BD Joint Patent Licensing Program?
- A11: Although there may be other relevant patents, such patents are not always infringed (if not licensed) by every manufacturer of BD-related products. The PREMIER BD Joint Patent Licensing Program is intended to cover only those patents that must be used in the implementation of, or for which there are no realistic alternatives for implementing, the BD Standard Specifications and DVD Standard Specifications applicable to BD products.
- Q12: How many patents are in the licensed patent list?
- A12: Please see the patent list page.
- Q13: What are the royalties under the PREMIER BD Joint Patent Licensing Program?
- A13: Please see the royalty rate page for royalty rates applicable to new licensees.
- Q14: Is the PREMIER BD royalty rate negotiable?
- A14: No. The PREMIER BD Joint Patent Licensing Program will be offered at the announced rates on a non-discriminatory basis to all licensees. Royalty rates in the PREMIER BD Joint Patent Licensing Program are set at levels that we believe to be fair and reasonable.
- Q15: Why has PREMIER BD set a ceiling only for BD Decoder and BD Encoder categories? Is there any possibility that PREMIER BD will adopt such a ceiling for other categories, such as the BD-Video/BD-ROM Disc categories?
- A:15 BD Decoders and BD Encoders are software products, which are fundamentally different from hardware products in terms of product type, transaction, customers, distribution and licensing practices. We have considered these differences and have decided to set a ceiling only for BD Decoders and BD Encoders. PREMIER BD does not intend to apply a ceiling to other categories of BD products.
- Q16: Will PREMIER BD increase its membership? If the number of members increases, will PREMIER BD raise royalty rates?
- A16: Any company that owns or controls essential BD patents may join PREMIER BD. We reserve the right to adjust the rates as necessary to encourage broad participation in the program by interested companies with essential BD patents.
- Q17: BD products have already been manufactured and sold in the market. How will PREMIER BD deal with royalties for BD products that licensees produced in the past?
- A17: Past royalties shall be payable based on the royalty rates set forth in the PREMIER BD Joint Patent Licensing Program.
- Q:18 DVD functionality included in BD products is currently covered by both the DVD6C license and the PREMIER BD license. If DVD6C licensees enter into a license with PREMIER BD, do they have to pay a royalty for DVD functionality twice?
- A18: If DVD6C licensees enter into a license with PREMIER BD, we will make adjustments in order to avoid duplicate payments for DVD functionality.
- Q19: Are licensees required to license back any of their patents to PREMIER BD?
- A19: The PREMIER BD Joint Patent Licensing Program requires licensees to grant each of the member companies of PREMIER BD and their affiliates (and each of PREMIER BD's other licensees) a non-exclusive license on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms to any of their patents that are essential to make, have made, use, import, offer for sale, sell or otherwise dispose of BD Products. This grantback is restricted to those categories of BD Products for which the licensee selects to take a PREMIER BD license.
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE
- Q20: How does the U.S. Department of Justice view this PREMIER BD Joint Patent Licensing Program?
- A20: PREMIER BD fully briefed the Antitrust Division (the "Division") of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) prior to launching the PREMIER BD Joint Patent Licensing Program. We understand that the Division was satisfied by this briefing and does not intend to take any enforcement action with respect to the Program.