Sony has found itself involved in legal tussles once more, this time over alleged patent infringement with its Blu-ray technologies.
reports that an intellectual property company – that is, a company which buys the patents from other firms with the avowed intention of suing people with big pockets – called Orinda IP USA is accusing Sony of infringing its patent on “Apparatus and method for recording/reproducing optical information and optical disk-shaped recording medium
.” If you thought that the terms of the patent sounded vague, you'd be right
The patent dates back to 1993 – so it's hardly cutting-edge technology – and was originally filed by Hyundai Electronics Industries. Having purchased the patent, Orinda is looking to make a fat profit: stating that any and all Blu-ray devices fall under the terms of the patent, the company is asking for an injunction against Sony along with an agreement to receive royalties, triple damages, backdated interest, and the full payment of legal fees. Plus the moon on a stick, one assumes.
This isn't the first time Sony has been accused of taking shortcuts while developing Blu-ray, either: back in 2007 the company was sued
by Target Technologies over a corrosion-preventing layer in Blu-ray discs that the company claimed Sony had appropriated.
Filed on the 20th of August in East Texas – a court well beloved of patent hoarders – this latest case will be presided over by Judge T. John Ward, a man well known for siding with patent holders in these disputes. Whether this spells trouble for Sony remains to be seen.
Do you see yet another patent troll going after the deepest pockets it can, or is there something to Orinda's claims after all? Share your thoughts over in the forums