LG files ITC complaint asking for PS3 to be barred from US

Korean electronics company claims infringement of Blu-Ray patents

Korean electronics company LG has issued a complaint to the US International Trade Commission requesting that the importation and marketing of Sony's PlayStation 3 to the United States be banned due to an alleged infringement of four separate patents relating to the playback of Blu-Ray discs.

The documents relating to the complaint, which were passed on to by the Foss Patents blog, refer to the PS3 specifically, but also make clear that the alleged infringements could also related to other devices carrying Blu-Ray players - referring to "certain electronic devices having a Blu-Ray Disc player and components thereof".

Bloomberg has reported that LG has also filed a separate patent infringement complaint against Sony with regard to Bravia televsions.

Last December, Sony filed a patent infringement complaint against LG concerning "computer-implemented inventions", requesting that the ITC ban the import and distribution of several of its mobile phones to the US. This latest complaint from LG may be part of that ongoing legal tussle.

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Latest comments (10)

Josef Brett Animator 10 years ago
Not sure either of them will win thier respective 'ban' requests to be honest. All this will do is be very expensive negative publicity.
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Richard Westmoreland Senior Game Designer, Codemasters Birmingham10 years ago
Whoever wins, we lose, and lawyers win.
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James Prendergast Process Specialist 10 years ago
I thought that both companies were part of the 'council' to develop and manufacture blu-ray devices?

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How are they not all licensing the standards and technology to each other as an act of being on that Association is beyond me....
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Private Industry 10 years ago
Ridiculous they all worked together to make Blu Ray. Guess the PS3 "It only does everything" commercials are not that good in telling people what the device can do if LG only found out now that it plays Blu Rays 4 years later.
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Gregory Hommel writer 10 years ago
This is would be like Kia claming patent infringement against Ford.
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Robert Abercrombie Assistant Producer, Vanguard Entertainment Group10 years ago
The question is: Why now? I'm assuming they had the patent for years and it doesn't just cover something that the PS3 has only been equipped with recently.
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 10 years ago
My guess as to why would be Sony suing LG for smartphone- and Blu-ray-related patent violations. It's quite a standard tactic: sue each other, cross-licence your patent portfolios, and everybody makes nice and goes home. For this case, it's not required that your patents have a lot of substance to them, just that everybody wants to avoid a big patent battle.

As for the technology at hand, from reading the U.S. complaint you can see that the patents are related mainly to the data format on the Blu-ray disc and how those data are reproduced. The former part sounds dodgy to me (after the GIF debacle, who would be insane enough to develop a file format without trying to patent it?), but the latter is is quite in line with the recent strong tradition in software and method patents: in this case the "Blu-ray" player under discussion would include not only the drive itself but all software involved with generating a signal for the TV. So something like playing back (from Blu-ray specifically) picture-in-picture video or the colours in subtitles could conceivably be covered.
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Dave Knudson Sr. Technology Manager, Electronic Arts10 years ago
Curt has it right.

I know in the US (on an unrelated matter) Tivo has been using over it's DVR patents seemingly forever, and some entities have just licensed their tech to avoid lawsuits. However, now Microsoft and Motorola have filed suit against Tivo claiming infringement on their IP...probably in the hopes cross-licensing.
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Alex Byrom Studying Multiplayer Online games design, Staffordshire University10 years ago
it's just like kids telling on each other, have big corporations not got better things to do?
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Curt Sampson Sofware Developer 10 years ago
Of course not: leveraging IP law to prevent your competitors from competing with you is one of the primary strategies in business. Nobody (at least nobody with any sense) wants to compete in a fair market if they can possibly get it tilted in their favour instead.
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