A press release says that VIZIO has filed a request with the FCC (Federal Communications Commission) to order Funai to “cease its unreasonable and discriminatory patent policies.” Funai’s policies demand what VIZIO believes are excessive “windfall royalties” for licensing arrangements related to Funai-held patents pertaining to U.S. digital television standards. For more details, read the release below.
Irvine, CA -- February 22, 2009 -- VIZIO, Inc., America’s HDTV and Consumer Electronics company, announced today that it filed a Request for the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) to require Funai Electronics Co., Ltd. and its subsidiary, Funai Corporation, to comply with patent licensing conditions imposed by the FCC when it adopted the digital television standards for the United States. VIZIO has requested that the FCC order Funai to cease its unreasonable and discriminatory patent enforcement policies while the FCC considers a pending petition for declaratory ruling. The declaratory ruling seeks action and protection from excessive DTV patent charges that have collectively exceeded $1 billion.
VIZIO pointed out that Funai is demanding windfall royalties for its single patent that are equivalent to the cost of licensing a group of over 30 patents owned by seven different companies. VIZIO told the FCC that if it does not act and VIZIO does not consent to Funai’s extortionate demands, Funai will continue threatening to exclude VIZIO televisions from the market just before the completion of the June 12, 2009 transition to digital television.
VIZIO asked the FCC to enforce the clear requirements in its patent licensing conditions. “It is VIZIO’s policy to minimize unnecessary costs that are absorbed by U.S. consumers,” stated Laynie Newsome, VIZIO Co-Founder, VP Sales and Marketing Communications. “We respect the rights of intellectual property, thoroughly investigate all claims, and vigorously defend our legal rights when we feel a patent is invalid and not infringed.”