CableLabs® Joins Call for IPR Related to OCAP™; Promotes Formation of Patent Pool
Louisville, Colorado, May 7, 2003—CableLabs® has joined the Digital Video Broadcast (DVB) Project, the Geneva-based TV standards forum, in renewing a call for intellectual property rights (IPR) related to the OpenCable Application Platform (OCAP™) middleware specification. OCAP is based on the Globally Executable MHP (GEM) standard developed by the DVB. As such, the call for IPR related to the OCAP specification is being coordinated with a call for IPR related to the DVB GEM standard.
To date, seven declarants have submitted a total of 45 patents for assessment. Companies who believe that they have IPR essential to the OCAP specification or the GEM standard should submit a declaration to the Patent Coordinator, Sughrue Mion PLLC, as soon as possible. See contact information below.
Carter Eltzroth, Legal Director of the DVB Project stated, �We are pleased to be working with CableLabs in fostering licensing programs for OCAP and GEM. This new call will build on the number and quality of declarations made to date. New declarants will be joining important rights holders from a wide range of industries including the consumer electronics and software communities. I look forward to closing this initial phase of the patent pooling process later this year.�
The objective is to create a �one-stop-shop� licensing mechanism for IPR that is necessary to implement the OCAP specification. It is CableLabs� strong preference that essential patent rights be made available on a royalty-free basis. Sun Microsystems has already agreed to make the required Sun Java technology available on a royalty-free basis. The licenses of other right holders may be royalty bearing if offered on a fair, reasonable, and nondiscriminatory basis under the CableLabs OpenCable IPR Policy.
Dr. Richard R. Green, President and CEO of CableLabs, said: �Our desire is to form a patent pool that will benefit vendors, patent holders, and consumers alike. The efficiency of a patent pool will also accelerate the introduction of OCAP-enabled digital devices into the marketplace.�
As the independent Patent Coordinator, Sughrue Mion PLLC, will assess the declarations submitted. Based on the conclusions drawn from that assessment, IPR holders will be invited to consider forming a patent pool and licensing program. The economic terms of that program, and the choice of licensing administrator, remain a decision of the IPR holders.
Sughrue held a meeting for potential declarants in Geneva, Switzerland last week. Alan Kasper, partner at Sughrue, stated, �Our Geneva meeting today is the first of several to explain the pooling process, our role in assessing the declarations, and our methodology. I look forward to meeting with potential licensees and other interested parties.� Other similar meetings are tentatively scheduled to occur at the NCTA National Show Chicago in early June, in East Asia, and at the IBC in Amsterdam in mid-September.
IPR declarations must be submitted to the Patent Coordinator with the attached Statement of Declarant (also available at www.opencable.com/documents/) and a per-patent submission fee of $3,500 USD. The fee covers an analysis of the patent against the CableLabs OCAP specification and the DVB MHP standard (both documents also encompassing the GEM standard).
Submissions should be sent to:
DVB Patent Pool Coordinator
c/o Alan J Kasper, Esq
Sughrue Mion PLLC
2100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington DC 20037-3213
T: +1 202 293 7060
Additional information on the OpenCable project, including a copy of the OCAP Specification, may be found at www.opencable.com.
About CableLabs: Cable Television Laboratories (www.cablelabs.com) was founded in 1988 by members of the cable television industry. A non-profit research and development consortium, CableLabs delivers innovations that enable cable operators to be the providers of choice in their markets. Cable operators from around the world are members. CableLabs maintains additional web sites at www.cablenet.org.
CableLabs® is a registered trademark of Cable Television Laboratories, Inc. Other CableLabs marks are listed at http://www.cablelabs.com/certqual/trademarks. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.
The Digital Video Broadcasting (DVB) Project is an industry-led consortium of over 250 broadcasters, manufacturers, network operators, software developers, regulatory bodies and others in over 35 countries committed to designing global standards for the delivery of digital television and data services. The DVB standards cover all aspects of digital television from transmission through interfacing, conditional access and interactivity for digital video, audio and data. The consortium came together in 1993 to create unity in the march towards global standardization, interoperability and future proofing. Further information about DVB and the range of specifications subject to the call for declarations can be found at: www.dvb.org.
Sughrue Mion PLLC is a 100-lawyer firm headquartered in Washington DC and specializing in the practice of law related to intellectual property rights. Since its inception over 45 years ago, the firm has represented its clients in all aspects of patent practice, both in the United States and internationally. The firm�s diverse client base, encompassing a broad spectrum of multinational corporations, high technology growth companies and small start-up ventures, has offered the firm experience in all fields of technology, particularly telecommunications, and has provided Sughrue a wealth of litigation, licensing and client counseling opportunities. Sughrue also has offices in Menlo Park, California, and Tokyo, Japan. Further details can be found at www.sughrue.com.