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The DVDplus is a dual-sided disc similar to the DualDisc. It is an optical disc storage technology that combines the technology of DVD and CD in one disc. A DVD and a CD-compatible layer are bonded together to provide a multi-format hybrid disc. DVDplus, like DualDisc, is not a new format as such: it combines two existing formats, DVD and CD, to produce a new product.

DVDplus is currently available in three variants:

  1. CD / DVD
  2. CD / DVD-Audio
  3. DVD / ROM

These variants can be combined: for example the DVD side can contain a DVD-Video zone, a DVD-Audio zone and a ROM/file download zone, just as is the case with conventional DVDs.

It will eventually be possible to produce the DVDplus with upcoming formats, such as Blu-ray. All DVDplus formats can be played both on conventional CD players, on DVD players and on the computer (the format is compatible with approximately 99% of the players on the market).

There has been some controversy (See MSNBC article) surrounding the DVDplus format as of late, as United States record labels have attempted to roll out its DualDisc format with a specification that the creators of DVDplus claim is in violation of its essential patents (but see below for the actual patent status of DVDPlus).

According to the DVDPlus website, in December 2004, Sony DADC signed a global license agreement [1] with DVDplus International, the makers of DVDplus.

To circumvent legal wrangles, manufacturers releasing DualDiscs in Europe have generally, so far, paid a licence fee to Dierks, even though the discs they are releasing are actually DualDiscs and not DVDplus discs. This has generally been achieved by using certified DualDisc plants that are also licensed to make DVDplus discs.

It would be erroneous to think of DVDplus as 'the European equivalent of DualDisc'. Some record companies in the USA, notably Ryko, have released DVDplus products, and DualDisc is now a great deal more common in Europe (though not as common as in the USA). They are essentially two similar approaches to the same goal, although the RIAA has pointed out that DualDisc is a music medium, and not a video medium. No such nominal restriction applies to DVDplus.

Although theoretically almost identical, DVDplus discs have so far appeared in practice - despite claims to the contrary - to measure as having slightly thicker CD-compatible layers than DualDiscs (though not sufficiently thick to make them conform to CD Red Book specifications). As a result, DVDplus has been able to claim a higher level of compatibility with CD players than DualDisc (where the thinness of the CD-compatible layer has shown some incompatibilities with a few players). This also meant that there were no limitations to the CD-compatible side's playing time as was the case with early DualDiscs. However, increased overall disc thickness risks an increased likelihood of the disc getting stuck in slot-loading players and autochangers. Despite these factors, return rates for both of the dual-sided disc products as a result of either sticking or non-playability are claimed to be extremely small.

Status of the trademark "DVDPlus"[edit]

DVDplus is a trademark of Dieter Dierks. A search in the trademarks database of the European Union's Office of Harmonisation of the Internal Market (OHIM) reveals that the trademark was registered in 2001.

Patent History of DVDPlus applications[edit]

As the table below shows, although the company and Mr. Dierks have been successful in closing licensing agreements with various companies, DVDPlus is not actually subject to much patent protection. The only European patents granted for the DVDPlus concept have either been withdrawn, revoked or allowed to lapse. The only jurisdiction in which patent protection exists is Australia.

Type Application number Published as Status date Date European patent register
EP application EP03750410 EP1530792 Withdrawn 01-03-2008 https://register.epo.org/espacenet/application?number=EP03750410
Family member of above WO2004017316 Published
Family member of above WO2004017306 Published
Family member of above AU2003249783 Published
Family member of above AU2003269866 Published
EP application EP02776802 EP1436809 Granted/Lapsed 01-05-2008 https://register.epo.org/espacenet/application?number=EP02776802
Family member of above DE10150025 Published
Family member of above WO03034418 Published
Family member of above US2004246869 Published
Family member of above AT343204T Published
Family member of above ES2275010T Published
EP application EP99121839 EP1006513 Withdrawn 03-06-2008 https://register.epo.org/espacenet/application?number=EP99121839
Family member of above DE19950707 Published
Family member of above US2004196778 Published/Abandoned
EP application EP98907662 EP0914653 Granted/Revoked 26-01-2009 https://register.epo.org/espacenet/application?number=EP98907662
Family member of above WO9838637 Published
Family member of above AU6341598 Published
Family member of above JP2000509879T Published
Family member of above AU729812B Accepted 02-08-2001
Family member of above DE29824505U Published
Family member of above AT269576T Published
Family member of above PT914653E Published
Family member of above ES2223124T Published
Family member of above DE69824521T Published

See also[edit]

  • DualDisc
  • Super Audio CD, another format that has discs that both take advantage of the higher bandwidth audio in supported machines, and are also readable in standard CD players.


External links[edit]