Via Licensing Corporation, a subsidiary of Dolby Labs that manages patent pool licences, has announced the proposed licence fees for patents related to the DVB-MHP and OCAP standards for interactive TV.

In most cases the fees relate to consumer devices and to service providers of subscription based services, but the licensors reserve the right to charge for MHP for non-subscription based broadcasters starting in 2009.

The patent licences for MHP 1.0, the Digital Video Broadcasting Multimedia Home Platform, and OCAP 1.0, the CableLabs OpenCable Applications Platform, will be offered separately.

Via Licensing says that participating companies have had patents independently determined to be essential to the implementations of the respective interactive TV standards, ETSI TS101812 and SCTE OC-SP-OCAP1.0.

Patent holders including Comcast, OpenTV, Panasonic, Royal Philips Electronics, Samsung Electronics, Thomson and Time Warner Cable are currently discussing the final license documents.

The goal of the participating companies is to have a patent license agreement available to interested device manufacturers and service providers by the end of 2005. Via Licensing is encouraging contact from any parties holding patents they believe are necessarily infringed by the practice of these standards.

Device manufacturers and service providers will be each required to obtain separate patent licenses from the pool, with manufacturers making payments based on the number of devices manufactured and service providers making payments based on the number of subscribers that their service reaches.

The proposed licence fees for MHP are $2.00 per device, and $0.25 per subscribing household per year for providers of subscription services. The Licensors reserve the rights to institute fees for non-subscription based MHP broadcasters starting in 2009.

The proposed fees for OCAP are $1.50 per consumer device and $0.30 per subscribing household per year for service providers.

The license fees collected from the MHP and OCAP licensing programs will be allocated among the pool members based upon a predetermined formula approved by all pool members.

Via Licensing recently announced fees for use of products incorporating the TV-Anytime standard for programme schedule metadata. These run at $0.50 per licensed product and $0.14 per subscriber per year for subscription based pay services.

DVB and MHP are registered trade marks of the DVB Project. CableLabs, OpenCable, and OCAP are trade marks of Cable Television Laboratories.

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