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Thomson Signs DVD Player Licensing Deal With China

By Agence France-Presse French consumer-electronics group Thomson said March 8 that it has signed an accord with the two principal bodies representing Chinese makers of DVD players, defining the conditions under which they can use patents held by Thomson. "This agreement will further strengthen Thomson's licensing business, which was already a significant contributor to revenues in 2003," the company said in a statement. The agreement applies to DVD players supplied both within China and as exports. It was signed with the CAIA audio industry association, which is linked to the Ministry of Information and Industry, and the CCCME chamber of commerce for electrical equipment, which is allied with the Ministry of Trade. Under the agreement, all members of the CAIA are now allowed to begin using Thomson's DVD patents over the course of the next few months. That will mean over 60 companies will have access to the patents, subject to royalty payments, Thomson said. Chinese companies manufacture more than half of all DVD players worldwide, while Thomson was a founding member of the consortium that developed DVD technology. The French company is also preparing to launch a new research center in China, it said. Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2004

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