PASADENA, Calif.--Acacia Research Corp., a subsidiary of Soundview Technologies Inc., today announced it has licensed a patent related to TV content-blocking technology to Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd. The licensing agreement settles a lawsuit filed by Soundview against Matsushita.
The technology, commonly called "V-chip," enables television sets to meet U.S. laws requiring video- and audio-blanking capabilities to prevent children from viewing certain types of TV programs. The 1996 Telecommunications Act requires all TV manufacturers to include V-chip technology in new television sets with screens 13 inches or larger sold in the U.S. market after Jan. 1, 2000. Approximately 25 million new televisions are sold in the country each year, according to Soundview, which is based in Greenwich, Conn.
Terms of the nonexclusive licensing agreement and suit settlement with Matsushita were not released.
Soundview said it has recently granted nonexclusive licenses to Philips Electronics, Hitachi, SamsungElectronics, Funai Electric, Sanyo Manufacturing, L.G. Electronics, Daewoo, Thomson Multimedia,
JVC and Orion. The company said it has also settled its patent lawsuit with Pioneer Electronics.
V-chip patent and antitrust lawsuits have been filed by Soundview against a number of television manufacturers, the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association, and the Consumer Electronics Association.