Coalition protesting DTV patent license fees

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CUTFATT, the Coalition United to Terminate Financial Abuses of the Television Transition, is petitioning the FCC to change rules on digital TV patent licenses. The consumer advocacy group contends that manufacturers are overcharged for the technology, which raises the price on digital sets. CUTFATT wants the FCC to use a “patent-pool” system in which TV manufacturers would pay a flat rate of about $1 per set for the rights to all the necessary patents. Manufacturers in Europe and Asia are charged that fee. In the United States, the group says, manufacturers are charged $20 to $30 for the rights.