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The BD4C Licensing Group changes name to PREMIER BD

Last week, the BD4C Licensing Group has changed its name to PREMIER BD. The group offers a worldwide portfolio of license for Blu-ray and DVD patents essential "to make, use and sell BD decoders, BD encoders, BD players, BD read-only discs, BD recordable discs, BD drives, BD/DVD hybrid discs, and BD recorders." It also includes BD products that incorporate BD functionality.

PREMIER BD's licensees benefit from "one-stop shopping" for all such patents that are owned or controlled by the group's members - Columbia Technology Ventures, Disney Enterprises, Mitsubishi Electric, Technicolor, Toshiba, and Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.

The members of PREMIER BD have authorised Toshiba to grant portfolio licenses on their behalf. Thomson Licensing (part of Technicolor) assists the licensing activities on a regional basis in Europe and Africa. Toshiba also acts as the regional licensing representative for North and South America, Asia (including Japan), Oceania and the Middle East.

The group emphasises that interested BD product users remain free to negotiate individual license agreements - rather than taking a single portfolio license - with each of the members of PREMIER BD, "which have committed to provide such individual licenses on fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory terms."

Back in November of last year, BD4C launched a limited-time incentive plan available to all companies that wished to obtain portfolio licenses to the BD4C members' essential patents for Blu-ray Disc products manufactured and sold for use exclusively within the People's Republic of China.

Under this incentive plan, companies that entered into a license agreement with the BD4C group by 30 November 2011 were benefiting from a 100% discount on royalties accruing for BD products made and used prior to that date exclusively in China.

Story filed 29.02.12

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