Vizio Cuts MPEG-2 License Agreement

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In a brief statement, low-cost big-screen TV maker Vizio has announced it has entered into the MPEG Licensing Authority‘s MPEG-2 patent license portfolio—and, in doing so, brings an end to a series of lawsuits brought against it by industry heavy-hitters like Sony, Samsung, Philips, and Panasonic. Financial terms of the licensing agreement were not disclosed, but the deal removes a dark cloud from Vizio’s future.

The original lawsuit was filed back in June 2008, accusing Vizio of violating 15 patents related to supporting MPEG-2 video playback in its products. Companies with stakes in the MPEG-2 standard—like Sony, Samsung, Philips, and Panasonic—had pursued Vizio about licensing the patents, but Vizio refused to work with them or the MPEG Licensing Authority, claiming it was covered by licenses executed by its suppliers.

It’s not known at this time to what degree paying license fees for MPEG-2 technology will impact Vizio’s famously low-end prices for LCD HDTVs. Vizio has become the third largest seller of LCD televisions, largely based on its ability to undersell its competition.