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Toshiba, 5 others in joint DVD licensing programme
TOKYO, June 11 (Reuters) - Japan's Toshiba Corp and five other firms said on Friday they had formed a joint programme to license packaged patents of digital video disc (DVD) technology.

Toshiba Corp, Hitachi Ltd , Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd , Mitsubishi Electric Corp , Time Warner Inc and Victor Co of Japan Ltd (JVC) said they had formed a joint licensing programme for patents involved in making DVD-video players, DVD-ROM drives, DVD decoders and DVD-video and DVD-ROM discs.

The programme allows firms to obtain a package of licences from all of the companies at once, eliminating the need to negotiate with individual companies, a spokesman for Toshiba said.

Licensing fees through the joint program are lower than going through the individual companies, he added.

The spokesman declined to say how much the companies expected to make in royalties, but said they would be divided among the firms by a third party.

Licensing is handled by Toshiba in Japan, Europe and Africa, by Matsushita in North America and South America and by Hitachi in the rest of Asia and the Middle East.

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