Time Warner Inc. and the ORC Patents
(14 pages of text)
Optical Recording Corporation (ORC) secured the rights to a technology known as digital optical audio recording. During the time it took to negotiate the final transfer of the technology ownership, it was rumored that some major electronics manufacturers were developing compact disc (CD) players that recorded digital optical audio signals. A patent lawyer advised ORC that the compact disc players and compact discs recently released by these companies might be infringing the claims of ORC's newly acquired patents. Based on this information, the company proceeded to successfully negotiate licensing agreements with the two largest CD manufacturers, Sony of Japan, and Philips of the Netherlands The third largest manufacturer, WEA Manufacturing, a subsidiary of Time Warner Inc., maintained a position of non-infringement and invalid patents. With the U.S. patent expiry date looming, ORC decided to sue Time Warner for patent infringement. When the defense counsel presented testimony that questioned the integrity of the licensing agreement, ORC's president realized that the entire licensing program was in jeopardy and must decide whether he should accept a settlement or proceed with the lawsuit.
United States/Canada/Japan, Large, 1992
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