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January 15, 2013

Personal Media Communications Enters into Licensing Agreement with Sony

Personal Media Communications (PMC), a holder of 58 patents that relate to the delivery of media content, has entered into an expanded comprehensive patent licensing agreement with Sony Corporation.

PMC has licensing agreements with other companies like Cisco, Gemstar TV Guide, The Weather Channel, Motorola Mobility, StarSight Telecasts and Pegasus Communications.

The patents that PMC holds cover a variety of technologies relating to the delivery of media content. Its business model has been to invent and patent technologies then license the technologies to companies in a position to widely distribute them.

One patent, in particular, provided instruction and information signals designed to automate many manual processes performed in broadcast studios.

When these signals were embedded in broadcasts, equipment could detect the signal and perform a specific task automatically. It allowed a cablecast or broadcast transmission facility to operate just as the studio at a television network would without requiring the same personnel. It also made operations like simulcasting, where two broadcasts of the same event operate at the same time, more precise and less subject to human error.

Other patents held by PMC include online television guides and cable television set-top boxes. The latter was the subject of a lawsuit between PMC and Motorola Mobility, resulting in the two companies forming a licensing agreement in 2011.

The agreement between the two companies is consistent with Sony’s strategy to revitalize its electronic business. In April 2012, Sony defined several areas it wanted to emphasize and strengthen after a new management team took over.

Its goal is to make its television business profitable by the first quarter of 2014 and to strengthen digital imaging, game and mobile technologies.

PMC has 40 outstanding patent applications that it expects will begin issuing in 12 to 18 months. Look for a major part of Sony’s upcoming products to use PMC’s technologies once the patents become final.

Edited by Braden Becker

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