As we are frequently reminded, the reason that a lot of companies are in the consumer electronics market is not just to manufacture and sell products, but also to get revenue by licensing the intellectual property used to create those products. The battle between Blu-ray and HD DVD to be the high-definition laser storage solution is really a battle over who will get the licensing fees.
One major challenge for a manufacturer looking to build a high tech product is finding all the existing patents that must be licensed in order to build a legal product. In many segments of the industries, organizations build “patent pools” and act as clearinghouses for the licensing fees. The patent holders only have to deal with one central agency, and the manufacturers can get all the licenses they need with one stop. A company named MPED LA, LLC, announced last month that they are working to create such a patent clearinghouse for the HD DVD Standard.
This is an important step toward wider adoption of HD DVD technology, and may help increase competition among the various HD DVD products.