Dwango Negotiates Separation Agreement, Announce Name Change Plans

Playboy’s mobile technology provider, Dwango North America Corp. (which does business as Dwango Wireless), has entered into a trademark and technology separation agreement with Japanese mobile entertainment supplier Dwango Co. Ltd.

Under the terms of the agreement, Dwango Wireless no longer will be required to pay Dwango Co. Ltd. a royalty or licensing fee, effective immediately. Day-to-day operations of both companies will be unaffected by the agreement. Dwango Wireless plans to reveal a new company name before the end of the year.

For more than three years, Dwango Wireless has been the exclusive licensee of the Dwango trademark and technologies in North America. Dwango Co. Ltd. will be able to use and license its trademarks and technology in North America beginning next year. Dwango Co. Ltd. is a top provider of mobile content in Japan, and its customers include all of that country’s top wireless carriers.

“This is a terrific opportunity to continue executing our ongoing business strategy of developing mobile channels for premium lifestyle and affiliate brands such as Playboy, Napster, and USA Today,” says Alexander U. Conrad, president, chief operations officer, and interim chief executive of Dwango Wireless. “The market for mobile content has grown and matured tremendously since we started this company, and we're grateful that the assistance and experience from Dwango Co. Ltd. was instrumental in bringing us to this point.”

Dwango Wireless will cease using the Dwango trademark upon announcement of its new name, and will rename its products and other assets as soon as possible, the company says.