DVD Standards Groups Accused of Freezing Out EcoDiscs

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EcoDisc Technology AG (EcoDisc AG) is a Swiss company that has developed the EcoDisc, a thinner, lighter eco-friendly DVD.  According to EcoDisc AG, its technology provides a 52% reduction in carbon dioxide emssions compared to a standard DVD.

Specifically, the EcoDisc uses about 50% less polycarbonate (an oil derivative) and needs about 50% less energy for production.  It is 0.6 mm, about one-half the thickness of a standard DVD, which typically comprises two 0.6 mm discs epoxied together.  Also, the EcoDisc can be recycled due to the absence of toxic bonder.

Last month, EcoDisc AG sued the DVD Format/Logo Licensing Corporation (DVD FLLC) and the DVD Forum in federal court in Los Angeles, alleging that the two DVD standards organizations have acted to suppress the use of EcoDisc technology, violating antitrust and false advertising laws.

Manufacturers, or “replicators,” that want to produce DVD products using DVD FLLC specifications and the familiar DVD logo owned by DVD FLLC (pictured below) have to obtain a license to do so.

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According to the complaint (ecodisc_complaint.pdf), DVD FLLC recently sent a written communication to all of its licensed replicators stating that any replicator that manufactures 0.6mm discs, including EcoDiscs, would be in breach of the DVD FLLC license agreement and could have its license terminated.

The complaint also alleges that DVD FLLC recently filed a sham lawsuit against one of EcoDisc AG’s customers.

EcoDisc AG is asking the court for injunctive relief and and an order that defendants post and disseminate corrective advertising.

Apparently, EcoDisc AG has had some recent success in combatting DVD FLLC.  According to the complaint, in April a German court issued a preliminary injunction against DVD FLLC, prohibiting the organization from stating to EU replicators that the manufacture of 0.6mm discs is in breach of the license agreement and might lead to termination of the license.

Eric Lane Avatar

Eric Lane

Eric Lane, the founder and principal of Green Patent Law, is an intellectual property lawyer and registered U.S. patent attorney in New York and is a member of the bar in New York and California. Eric has more than two decades of experience working with wind, solar PV, CSP, biofuels, and geothermal, energy storage technologies, carbon capture and sequestration, medical devices, data communications, mechanical, chemical, internet and software.