CableLabs® Promotes Pooling of OCAP™ Patents
Patent holders who believe they have patent claims essential to the implementation of OCAP should submit a declaration to the law firm of Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (see below for contact information), with a copy going to CableLabs. CableLabs has hired Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering (WCP) to independently assess the essentiality of patent claims with respect to implementation of the OCAP standard. WCP was also chosen by the European DVB Project to serve as the patent coordinator for the Multimedia Home Platform (MHP) middleware specification. The OCAP specification is an adaptation of the MHP specification for North American cable systems.
Under the arrangement with WCP, patent declarants will submit a $3,500 fee to WCP for each patent. For the single fee, WCP will assess claim essentiality for both the OCAP specification and the MHP specification. WCP will maintain the strictest confidentiality and independence when reviewing submitted declarations.
When a "critical mass" of essential patent claims has been identified, the relevant patent holders will be invited to form a patent licensing pool. A license administrator for the patent pool will be chosen at that time. This process is similar to the process used by CableLabs in the successful formation of the MPEG-2 patent pool.
It is CableLabs' strong preference that essential patent rights are 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. Patent holders participating in the CableLabs patent pool process may include a nominal royalty 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: "Now that the OCAP 1.0 Specification has been released, we can begin to identify the essential patents, and make sure that they are available to all OCAP implementers in an efficient manner, and on terms that are reasonable and non-discriminatory. As with the licensing scheme fostered by CableLabs for MPEG, our efforts to form a patent pool will serve to benefit vendors, patent holders, and consumers alike. The pool will also accelerate the introduction of OpenCable products and services into the marketplace."
Additional information on the OpenCable™ project, including a copy of the OCAP Specification, may be found at www.opencable.com.
Patent declarations should be sent to:
Wilmer Cutler & Pickering
2445 M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20037-1420
Attention: John W. Ryan or Ashok K. Mannava
E-mail: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org About CableLabs
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 and www.ebif.tv.
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