DENVER, CO, US – March 17 2010 – MPEG LA, LLC, world leader in alternative one-stop patent licenses, today announced that several patent holders in MPEG LA’s MPEG-2 Patent Portfolio License have filed separate patent enforcement actions in Landgericht Düsseldorf, Germany against Aldi Nord GmbH & Co. oHG (“Aldi Nord”) and Aldi Süd GmbH & Co. oHG (“Aldi Süd”), as well as Lidl Stiftung & Co. KG and Lidl Dienstleistung GmbH & Co. KG (“Lidl”), for infringing patents essential to the MPEG-2 digital video compression standard used worldwide in digital television broadcasting and DVD.
“We expect all retailers that sell MPEG-2 products under their own private brand labels to meet their patent licensing obligations just as other branded product suppliers do, and our MPEG-2 License is available to assist them,” said MPEG LA President and CEO Larry Horn. “In addition, we urge retailers to insist that all branded product suppliers doing business with them also meet their patent licensing obligations as most already do, and our MPEG-2 License is available to assist them as well.”
According to the complaints, Aldi Nord and Aldi Süd offer in Germany products such as desktop computers, laptop computers, set-top boxes, DVD players, Blu-ray Disc™ players and digital televisions, some under Aldi Süd’s own Tevion house brand name, that use patent protected MPEG-2 methods without license.
The complaints also allege that Lidl offers in Germany products such as laptop computers, set-top boxes, DVD players and digital televisions, some under Lidl’s own Silvercrest house brand, that use patent protected MPEG-2 methods without license.
The suit seeks, among other things, monetary damages and injunctions prohibiting Aldi Nord, Aldi Süd and Lidl from using MPEG-2 patents in their products and from offering, marketing, or importing them.
MPEG LA, LLC
MPEG LA is the world leader in alternative technology licenses, enabling users to acquire worldwide patent rights necessary for a technology standard or platform from multiple patent holders in a single transaction as an alternative to negotiating separate licenses. Wherever an independently administered one-stop patent license would provide a convenient marketplace alternative to assist users with implementation of their technology choices, the licensing model pioneered and employed by MPEG LA may provide a solution. Among MPEG LA’s licenses is one for MPEG-2 digital video compression that has helped produce the most widely employed standard in consumer electronics history. The MPEG-2 Patent Portfolio License, which includes more than 870 MPEG-2 essential patents in 57 countries, has more than 1500 licensees accounting for most MPEG-2 products including set-top boxes, DVD players, digital television sets, personal computers and DVD Video Discs in the current world market. MPEG LA is an independent licensing administrator; it is not related to any standards agency and is not an affiliate of any patent holder. For more information, please refer to http://www.mpegla.com.