SAN FRANCISCO--()--Via Licensing Corporation today announced the launch of a joint patent licensing program for MPEG-4 Scalable to Lossless Coding (SLS) also known as “HD-AAC”. SLS is an audio compression technology which extends MPEG-4 AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) from perceptually transparent playback to true lossless audio quality, in a scalable fashion.
“In a single transaction and on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, companies seeking to deploy products with SLS technology can now obtain the rights to the essential patents of multiple licensors through this newly launched program.”
With MPEG-4 SLS, a lossless data compressed audio file played through an HD-AAC decoder produces results that are bit-for-bit identical and of equivalent quality to the original source material. Playing that same audio file through a standard AAC decoder delivers the same quality and performance it would if originally encoded in AAC.
MPEG-4 SLS has been branded “HD-AAC” by Fraunhofer IIS, the German research institute famous for developing mp3, and a co-developer of the SLS technology along with the Agency for Science, Technology, and Research’s (A*STAR) Institute for Infocomm Research.
SLS is implemented as an enhancement layer to AAC where upward scalability (towards full lossless compression) is achieved by dedicating varying amounts of data to the SLS enhancement. The average compression ratio of SLS is equal or superior to many existing lossless audio compression schemes that do not offer backward compatibility. In addition, SLS features full multi-channel capabilities.
Consumer applications for SLS include the ability to manage and store a music library that simultaneously supports lossless playback on high quality audio equipment in the home, as well as playback on portable media players and mobile phones that support AAC.
“The availability of a joint patent license for MPEG-4 SLS is an important step forward in the orderly and successful commercialization of this technology,” said Andrew Fischer, Director, Licensing Programs at Via Licensing Corporation. “In a single transaction and on reasonable and non-discriminatory terms, companies seeking to deploy products with SLS technology can now obtain the rights to the essential patents of multiple licensors through this newly launched program.”
The MPEG-4 SLS patent licensing program debuts with an “early adopter incentive.” Parties that execute the SLS license by June 30, 2009 will not owe SLS license fees on products sold prior to January 1, 2010. In addition, Via Licensing’s customary initial fee will be reduced during the period prior to July 1, 2009.
Licensors offering their essential SLS patents through the new licensing program currently include A*STAR Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd (Singapore), Fraunhofer IIS (Germany), and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (Japan).
For additional information and a presentation of the SLS licensing fees, or to request a sample MPEG-4 SLS patent license agreement for review, please visit www.vialicensing.com and select the link to “MPEG-4 SLS” under the Licensing Programs menu.
Via Licensing continues to welcome the addition of third parties that hold patents which are essential to the practice of MPEG-4 SLS. Any entity holding patents they believe are necessary for the SLS standard may obtain participation information by sending an e-mail requesting the SLS patent submission guidelines to email@example.com.
For more information please visit the Via Licensing website at www.vialicensing.com.
About Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd
Exploit Technologies is the strategic marketing and commercialization arm of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR). Its mission is to support A*STAR in transforming the economy through commercializing R&D. Exploit Technologies enhances the research output of A*STAR scientists by translating their inventions into marketable products or processes. Through licensing deals and spin-offs with industry partners, Exploit Technologies is a key driver of technology transfer in Singapore. It actively engages industry leaders and players to commercialize A*STAR's technologies and capabilities, bridging the gap from Mind to Market. Exploit Technologies’ charter is to identify, protect and exploit promising intellectual property (IP) created by A*STAR’s research institutes. For more information, please visit http://www.exploit-tech.com
About Fraunhofer IIS
Fraunhofer IIS, based in Erlangen, Germany, is the home of the organization’s Audio and Multimedia division, which has been working in compressed audio technology for more than 20 years and is today a globally renowned innovator of technologies for cutting-edge multimedia systems. Fraunhofer IIS is universally credited with the development of mp3 and co-development of AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) as well as technologies for the media world of tomorrow, including MPEG Surround, MPEG Spatial Audio Object Coding and Fraunhofer Audio Communication Engine.
Through the course of more than two decades, Fraunhofer IIS has licensed its audio codec software and application-specific customizations to at least 1,000 companies. Fraunhofer estimates that it has enabled more than 1 billion commercial products worldwide using its mp3, AAC and other media technologies.
The Fraunhofer IIS organization is part of Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, based in Munich, Germany. Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is Europe’s largest applied research organization and is partly funded by the German government. With nearly 15,000 employees worldwide, Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft is composed of 57 Institutes conducting research in a broad range of research areas. For more information, contact Matthias Rose, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.iis.fraunhofer.de/amm.
About Institute for Infocomm Research
The Institute for Infocomm Research (I²R pronounced as i-squared-r) is a member of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) family. Established in 2002, its mission is to be the globally preferred source of innovations in `Interactive Secured Information, Content and Services Anytime Anywhere’ through research by passionate people dedicated to Singapore’s economic success. I²R performs R&D in information, communications and media (ICM) technologies to develop holistic solutions across the ICM value chain. For more information, please visit www.i2r.a-star.edu.sg.
About Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation
Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corporation (NTT) has led the development of telecommunications in Japan for more than a century. The major affiliate companies of NTT continue to accommodate the emerging needs of the ubiquitous broadband society in the 21st century, while fulfilling their social mission in each business field in an increasingly competitive global market environment.
About Via Licensing Corporation
Via Licensing Corporation develops and administers patent licensing programs on behalf of innovative technology companies and for the convenience of licensees. Via Licensing Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dolby Laboratories, Inc. (NYSE: DLB) and benefits from the expertise, infrastructure, and strategic business relationships that Dolby has developed in more than 35 years of licensing into the consumer electronics and personal computing markets. Via Licensing is involved in the development and operation of licensing programs for both mandated and de facto or emerging standards. For more information about Via Licensing Corporation, please visit www.vialicensing.com.
Certain statements in this press release, including statements regarding the capabilities and adoption of SLS and the benefits of the MPEG-4 SLS licensing program, are "forward-looking statements" that are subject to risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations, and as a result of certain risks and uncertainties actual results may differ materially from those anticipated. The following important factors could cause actual results to differ materially from those in the forward-looking statements: risks associated with licensing technologies through joint licensing programs; risks associated with licensing industry-standard technologies; risks associated with developing proprietary technology in markets in which “open standards” are adopted; market acceptance of SLS capable devices; rapid changes in audio surround-sound transmission technologies; risks associated with the development of markets for SLS-capable products; and other risks detailed in Dolby Laboratories Inc.’s Securities and Exchange Commission filings and reports, including the risks identified under the section captioned "Risk Factors" in its most recent Periodic Report on Form 10-Q or 10-K. Dolby disclaims any obligation to update information contained in these forward-looking statements whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.