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(No.1 High-Tech News Site in Japanese)

  • Apple, Sony, Others Agree on Licensing for IEEE1394 Patents
  • February 19, 1999 (TOKYO) -- Six electronics companies announced Feb. 17 that they reached an agreement to work toward joint licensing of an important patent related to the IEEE1394 interface.
    They are Apple Computer Inc., Compaq Computer Corp. of the United States, Sony Corp., Toshiba Corp., Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd., and Royal Philips Electronics N.V. of the Netherlands.

    By setting up a consolidated licensing window for the patents related to IEEE1394 technology that these companies hold separately, they expect to accelerate the development of devices using the IEEE1394 interface.

    Apple has not yet officially announced a royalty increase for an IEEE1394 port. But according to sources at electrical appliance companies, Apple was seeking a fee of US$1 per port for devices using the IEEE1394 interface. (See the related article.) This may have exerted an impact on future product strategies of many makers of electric appliances.

    "With this agreement, we can develop IEEE1394 products with peace of mind," said an engineer at a Japanese company.

    All enterprises and groups that own patents related to IEEE1394 technology will be able to register with the joint licensing agency.

    Electronics companies developing products using the IEEE1394 interface can use all the licenses registered with the registration agency by paying a set license fee per product, not per port.

    The license fee has not been finalized. It is likely to be around US$0.25 per unit.

    Related story: Japan Electric Makers Shocked by Apple's IEEE1394 Royalty Hike

    (Nikkei Electronics)

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    Updated: Thu Feb 18 16:18:59 1999 PDT