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Sony hits PlayStation emulator developer with patent suit

After Connectix' win, Sony turns to Bleem! again

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Sony has fired off another lawsuit against PlayStation emulator developer Bleem! just a week after the software company announced a version of its emulator - also called Bleem! - that runs on Sega's Dreamcast console.

Well, we said it would happen. Sony's latest suit doesn't appear to target Bleem!-on-Dreamcast specifically - rather it's essentially the same patent infringement case that it launched against Connectix back in February - but the timing is just too close to be coincidental.

The anti-Connectix suit was launched after the Mac-based emulator developer had Sony's preliminary injunction blocking the sale of Connectix Virtual GameStation (VGS) overturned at the appeal court. The appeal judge ruled that the ban was unjustified on the basis of Sony's copyright and trademark violation claims. But he also noted that had Sony included patent infringement in its suit, the ban might well be enforceable after all.

So - surprise, surprise - a few days later Sony launched a fresh suit against Connectix, this time alleging that VGS infringemes its patents. It was odd that Sony didn't launch a similar case against Bleem! at the same time, particularly since Bleem! has generally had more success than Connectix at defending itself against Sony's copyright infringement claims.

Earlier this week, US District Court judge Charles Legge - who, incidentally, has also presided over Sony's action against Bleem! - finally threw out seven of Sony's nine copyright and trademark violation allegations against Connectix, and set a 90-day review period before he rules on the remaining two. ®

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