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Shibata Patent Expired August 1, 2019

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humprof

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Someone on another forum I belong to ("Lenco Heaven"--I recently came in to a vintage Bogen/Lenco turntable) posted yesterday that the patent on the Shibata stylus--originally developed for CD4--expired the first of this month.

US3774918A

One respondent guesses that this probably won't affect prices: "performance is dependent on the quality and consistency of the grinding and polish which costs money. I would say there won't be any new entrants in the game and it will be the same outfits producing it so prices will remain at least the same for the audiophile brands with a reputation to maintain."
 

ubertrout

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It expired in 1990 - Google says expired as of the day you're looking, but it doesn't mean it expired today.

On the other hand, the SACD and DVD-A patents are expiring this year and next year, mostly.
 

humprof

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It expired in 1990 - Google says expired as of the day you're looking, but it doesn't mean it expired today.
Huh. I guess he got it wrong? On the other hand, the timeline on the Google patent page says this:

1990-11-27: Anticipated expiration​
2019-08-06: Application status is Expired - Lifetime​

On the other hand, the SACD and DVD-A patents are expiring this year and next year, mostly.
What's the thinking in the industry: is that bring licensing costs down?
 

ubertrout

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Huh. I guess he got it wrong? On the other hand, the timeline on the Google patent page says this:

1990-11-27: Anticipated expiration​
2019-08-06: Application status is Expired - Lifetime​



What's the thinking in the industry: is that bring licensing costs down?
Right. So it's expired as of today, and unless there's something unknown about it then it expired 30 years ago.

In theory mfrs don't need to pay the patent pool for SACD or DVD-A anymore, and can make players including the technology freely. I think both pools have 1-2 patents that don't expire for 5 years or so, though.
 

humprof

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Right. So it's expired as of today, and unless there's something unknown about it then it expired 30 years ago.
I get it now. I thought maybe there was some technical difference between "expiration" and "application status expiration"--and a weird limbo period in between. But you're saying that if we looked at that page tomorrow or the next day, then the final line would read the same, only with the most recent date.

In theory mfrs don't need to pay the patent pool for SACD or DVD-A anymore, and can make players including the technology freely. I think both pools have 1-2 patents that don't expire for 5 years or so, though.
 

ubertrout

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I get it now. I thought maybe there was some technical difference between "expiration" and "application status expiration"--and a weird limbo period in between. But you're saying that if we looked at that page tomorrow or the next day, then the final line would read the same, only with the most recent date.
Patent term back then was 17 years from grant, although this is based off a priority date of a Japanese application so I think it's 20 years off that? Regardless, it expired a while ago. For applications since 1997 it's 20 years from application date.
 

Mendemender

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Patent law changes. In the US it used to be that the patent was valid for (up to) 17 years from the publication date. There were problems with that because patents could be around for years before they were published and were kept secret until then. You could be selling a product for years and then suddenly a patent would appear which you had been infringing all the time. Nowadays patents are valid for (up to) 20 years from the priority date. They are published soon after filing so that everyone knows what has been filed and there are no nasty surprises.
"up to" - depends on whether you pay the renewal fees.
 

quicksrt

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What's the thinking in the industry: is that bring licensing costs down?
Yes it could! But I kinda doubt Warner would decide that a “Tusk” 5.1 mix may as well be DVD-A now that costs are more under control.

And that DVD-A could be just as compatible with regular players (non-DVD-A) as the DVD-V (with DD or DTS) format is.

But I’d bet a WMG type company would still balk at issuing any DVD-A disc thinking “been there, done that!

How sad for DVD-A! But for SACD I think the ramifications are more positive. And any saving(s) on pressing costs for a small reissue label is a good thing, even on tiny pressing runs.
 

cubdukat

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I wonder if the DVD-A patent is completely free and clear.

Dolby took the MLP compression scheme DVD-A used and made it part of the TrueHD surround process.
 

ubertrout

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So, the DVD-A patent being used in TrueHD wouldn't extend the underlying patent, although I suspect TrueHD has its own patent portfolio which includes the older MLP patents.

The patent licensing site is here, it looks like all but two have expired: Philips IP&S
 
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