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About ULDAGE

What is ULDAGE Inc.?

ULDAGE Inc. was established in July 2006 for the purpose of providing tools for revitalizing business by creating a competitive environment through collaboration and resolution of patent issues in this complex digital age. ULDAGE Inc. undertakes its business by granting licenses for essential patents held by multiple parties in a single package (by the patent pooling method) which offers convenience to both patent holders and business operators.

Location Imperial Tower, 1-1-1 Uchisaiwai-cho, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo
Phone +81-(0)3-3500-1572
FAX +81-(0)3-3500-1573
President & CEO Yoshihide Nakamura
Stated Capital 60,000,000 yen
Shareholders Hitachi Maxell, Ltd.(14.29%)
JVC KENWOOD Corporation(14.29%)
Mitsubishi Electric Corporation(14.29%)
Panasonic Corporation(14.29%)
Sharp Corporation(14.29%)
Sony Corporation(14.29%)
Toshiba Corporation(14.29%)

What is a pantent pool?

A "patent pool" is a system by which patents that relate to specific technologies or products and are held by numerous patent holders are assembled into a package of patents, and such patents are licensed for fair and reasonable conditions with a view to contributing to business expansion in the entire industry segment. ULDAGE Inc. administers a "patent pool" and grants licenses on fair and reasonable terms in a single package under essential patents for the Digital Broadcasting Standards currently held by multiple parties.

Why is a pantent pool necessary?

In general, the following changes can be expected when the technology shifts from analog to digital:

  • Due to the need for ensuring compatibility among devices, unification of the related technologies (standardization of the relevant technologies) is sought.

  • In the process of standardization, the number of patents required for each of such technologies and the number of parties holding such patents will increase dramatically.

For instance, in order to digitize terrestrial television broadcasting and realize the utilization of various types of broadcasting services, more complex and varied technologies have been required for digital broadcasting as compared to those for analog broadcasting. At the same time, the standardization of technologies has become necessary among a number of parties in order to achieve compatibility. As a result, the number of patents necessary for digital broadcasting compatible compliant products dramatically increased, as did the number of parties holding the related patents.

In the meantime, because terrestrial digital broadcasting is characterized by the capability to allow reception in various devices, there is a wide range of compliant products. Accordingly, there has been an increasing number of corporations that seek to obtain licenses of patents relating to digital broadcasting.

Specifically, because there has been a growing number of patent holders as well as an increasing number of prospective licensees, one-on-one licensing negotiations now require a tremendous amount of time and labor. Moreover, if negotiations are conducted individually with all patent holders, even if the consideration sought for each license may be "reasonable", the aggregate amount resulting from numerous licenses could be an "unreasonable" amount of consideration.

These disadvantages can be resolved by the patent pooling method as indicated below.

 

  • License for a number of patents may be granted in a single package under a single contract.

  • Reasonable consideration is set up for such package licensing.

Where is ULDAGE Inc. going?

Numerous industry standards are used for recent digital products. For these products, many patent pools are set up for each of the different standards, and at present, separate licenses must be obtained from multiple patent pools.

ULDAGE Inc. aims at going beyond the type of patent pool formed for a particular set of industry standards as one unit, and strives to provide patent pools on a product basis by covering, in a single package, the multiple industry standards necessary for a specific product, so that ULDAGE may achieve the "United License for Digital Age" which is its goal as well as the origin of its corporate name.

 

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