Digital video broadcasting patent licensing announced

DIRECTV's Spaceway F2 satellite
21 December 2006

ESA, the DIRECTV Group and RAI (Radiotelevisione Italiana), the holders of key DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting)-S2 intellectual property rights, announced on 15 December the terms of a comprehensive licensing offering under their combined patent rights for DVB-S2 standardised technology.

The offering will set limits on cumulative royalties paid for the licensing of intellectual property rights in order to speed adoption of the DVB-S2 standard. DVB-S2 is the second generation DVB system for broadband satellite communications, covering digital TV and HDTV broadcasting, interactive services, and professional links by satellite.
The three rights holders will jointly offer a license under their combined portfolios of intellectual property rights necessary for the implementation of DVB-S2. Free-to-air and pay-TV broadcasters will not be required to pay a separate service license fee to broadcast to licensed receivers. The per-product royalties and the arrangements for broadcasters are geared to help launch DVB-S2 technology and follow the commitment of the rights holders to offer licenses on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms.
"We feel that it is important to confirm to the marketplace that the cumulative royalties for the licensing of known essential IPRs will indeed be fair and reasonable", said Dr. Alberto Morello, Director of the RAI Research Centre.
"DIRECTV developed essential DVB-S2 coding technology to significantly expand the capacity of its direct-to-home broadcast business. By confirming that a license under the DIRECTV, RAI and ESA patents will not exceed $0.50 per consumer product – with no additional service royalties or other service fees owed by free-to-air and pay-TV broadcasters – manufacturers and service providers will now be able to set their business models to take advantage of this important technology", added Romulo Pontual, Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer of DIRECTV.
"We expect that these conditions will foster a rapid adoption of this innovative standard by the global satellite broadcast and telecommunication industry", concluded Giuseppe Viriglio, ESA Director of Telecommunication and Navigation.
The licensing model under the combined portfolio for interactive and professional applications such as pay-TV, data broadcasting/internet access and satellite news gathering will be announced shortly.

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