Via Licensing Corp Launches MPEG Surround Patent Licensing Program

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012
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MPEG Surround patent licensing program will aid the adoption of new multichannel audio format

SAN FRANCISCO — 2012 International CES — Via Licensing Corporation, a company that develops and operates patent pools in cooperation with essential patent owners worldwide, announced the availability of its joint licensing program for patents essential to the practice of MPEG Surround.

Demonstrating industry leadership and commitment to promoting open standards, leading technology firms including AT&T Inc., Dolby Laboratories, Inc., Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI), France Telecom S.A., Fraunhofer IIS, Koninklijke Philips Electronics N.V., and LG Electronics, Inc., have selected Via Licensing to develop and manage a patent pool that provides access to patents essential to the MPEG Surround standard under reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms.

“Availability of the patent pool program is an essential requirement for the broad, global adoption of an open industry standard,” said Stefan Geyersberger, Head of Patents and Licensing at Fraunhofer IIS. “We are glad to join forces with the other licensors and Via Licensing to further stimulate the adoption of MPEG Surround in broadcast, streaming, and download-to-own applications.”

The MPEG Surround standard describes a highly efficient method of transmitting surround sound through bandwidth-limited channels. Rather than coding every channel into one multichannel audio signal, MPEG Surround uses parametric descriptions of key signal characteristics to deliver multichannel audio at bit rates comparable to stereo. MPEG Surround operates independently of the underlying audio codec enabling it to be used with codecs such as AAC, HE AAC (aacPlus), MPEG Audio Layer II, and PCM.

“MPEG Surround is an important technological advance in audio coding,” said Andrew Fischer, Director of Licensing Programs, Via Licensing. “The availability of a joint patent license is the result of considerable effort and dedication on the part of the patent owners. We are very pleased to bring the MPEG Surround patent pool license to market.”

Via Licensing’s MPEG Surround license is available now.

Fraunhofer IIS will be demonstrating MPEG Surround technology at the 2012 International CES in Las Vegas, Nevada, January 10 through 13, booth South 1–20417.