Feeds

German court rules SanDisk MP3 player seizure lawful

Patent infringement claim

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

A German court has ruled that local Public Prosecution officers were right to seize SanDisk digital music players at the IFA consumer electronics show held in Berlin last September. SanDisk's players are accused of incorporating without permission technology owned by a number of European firms.

The Criminal Chamber of the Landgericht Berlin said the officers had "sufficient grounds for suspicion of deliberate patent infringement", rendering their decision to seize the Sansa music players and related marketing materials from SanDisk's IFA booth lawful. The officials were acting under the remit of a search warrant issued earlier by the Berlin Amtsgericht Tiergarten court.

The seizure followed complaints made about SanDisk to the Berlin Public Prosecution Office by Sisvel - the Società Italiana per lo Sviluppo dell'Elettronica - which licenses and manages a portfolio of digital audio patents on behalf of a number of European companies, including Philips and France Teleco.

Sisvel maintains SanDisk needs to license its patent portfolio, an allegation the memory card specialist rejects. In a statement, SanDisk denied infringing the Sisvel patents, claiming its players are based on "completely different" technology.

Sisvel has patent infringement lawsuits against SanDisk outstanding in the UK, Germany and the Netherlands. AudioMPEG, the Sisvel subsidiary that handles the intellectual property in the US, is suing SanDisk in the US District Court of Eastern Virginia. Sisvel said this week that MP3 player makers Apple, Microsoft and Creative have already licensed its technology, as have MP3-capable phone makers Nokia, Motorola and Sony Ericsson.

SanDisk had disputed the Berlin Public Prosecution officers' right to seize its property at IFA. Indeed, the Amtsgericht Tiergarten subsequently ruled that the seizure had been disproportionate to the powers proved by the warrant. The Landgericht rejected that assessment and overrulled the lower court. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Arrr: Freetard-bothering Digital Economy Act tied up, thrown in the hold
Ministry of Fun confirms: Yes, we're busy doing nothing
Help yourself to anyone's photos FOR FREE, suggests UK.gov
Copyright law reforms will keep m'learned friends busy
Apple smacked with privacy sueball over Location Services
Class action launched on behalf of 100 million iPhone owners
US judge: YES, cops or feds so can slurp an ENTIRE Gmail account
Crooks don't have folders labelled 'drug records', opines NY beak
ONE EMAIL costs mining company $300 MEEELION
Environmental activist walks free after hoax sent share price over a cliff
UK government officially adopts Open Document Format
Microsoft insurgency fails, earns snarky remark from UK digital services head
You! Pirate! Stop pirating, or we shall admonish you politely. Repeatedly, if necessary
And we shall go about telling people you smell. No, not really
prev story

Whitepapers

Designing a Defense for Mobile Applications
Learn about the various considerations for defending mobile applications - from the application architecture itself to the myriad testing technologies.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Seven Steps to Software Security
Seven practical steps you can begin to take today to secure your applications and prevent the damages a successful cyber-attack can cause.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.