Calif. firm sues Sony over the way it makes Blu-ray disks
There's a silver lining in every Blu-ray patent cloud
Sony is facing legal action from a Californian company over claims of patent infringement in its use of Blu-ray technology in the PlayStation 3 games console. Target Technology is demanding that three Sony-related companies stop manufacturing and distributing all Blu-ray discs. The firm alleges that the technology used to manufacture Blu-ray discs violates one of its patents.
The California firm filed its complaint in the US District Court for the Southern District of Indiana against Sony Computer Entertainment America, Sony Pictures and Sony DADC. Target is demanding that Sony stops manufacturing what it says are patent-infringing Blu-ray discs and is seeking significant damages for the alleged infringement.
Target specialises in manufacturing and selling thin metallic alloys for optical discs. It's not clear if Target's allegations relate specifically to PlayStation 3 discs or all Sony Blu-ray discs.
Target's patent, which was submitted in 2004 and granted in 2006, describes the use of silver-based alloys, which have the advantages of gold in the production of the discs, but at a lower cost.
The lawsuit comes just three months after Sony settled a patent dispute with Immersion over the rumble function in Sony's Dual Shock controllers for the firm's earlier games consoles but not the PlayStation 3. The rumble with Immersion cost the firm U$97m. Sony also recently settled a dispute with Kodak over 10 digital camera patents.
While this new lawsuit may deal a hard blow to the supporters of Blu-ray technology, they have been given reason to be cheerful as the path towards legal copying of Blu-ray discs appears to be opening.
The Advanced Access Content System (AACS) is a new standard for content distribution and digital rights management that will allow limited sharing and copying of Blu-ray and HD DVD discs. Production studios hope to conclude a deal to provide the standard in time for this year's Christmas shopping period.
If the agreement goes through consumers will be able to make copies of discs they have purchased by using an AACS enabled disc. This managed copy system will limit the number of copies users are able to make of discs.
The launch of AACS has been delayed by multiple hacking attacks to the system."It is disruptive to respond to the various attacks. It means we're putting aside finalizing the agreements and getting managed copy out," Michael Ayers, spokesperson for the AACS Licencing Authority.
I've got a patent.
Has anyone patended the use of a penis in the manufacture of human? I think I may go for that one, and sue sperm banks into oblivion. Just think, I could negotiate 10% of all semen-based revenue!
Now you know what it's like for your customers, Sony
"Should be interesting to see just how aggressive Sony gets on this one. They have spent billions, with others, developing BluRay technology, and along comes Patent Troll USA to spoil the party. I think I am losing count of the number of times some US based IP monger comes out of the woodwork years *after* all the development work on a major product is done, in order to sue for supposed patent infringement. If anyone wants to know what's wrong with the US economy, this is it."
Schadenfreude; if any corporation deserves to suffer from frivolous infirngement claims, it's Sony (but I hate to see the patent system abused by anyone).
pull an AGFA ...
AGFA ( a german company making copiers, photographic film and audio tapes ) was well known to patent only stuff that doesn't work . The really good stuff they keep secret and osld under NDA's. This threw off the competition completely