LG Fires Back at Sony in Patent Fight Over TVs, Phones

LG Electronics Inc., facing patent- infringement claims brought by Sony Corp., fired back with complaints seeking to block sales of Sony Bravia televisions and PlayStation 3 consoles in the U.S.

LG claims Sony’s high-definition TVs infringe four patents, while products with Blu-ray players including the PlayStation infringe four others, according to two complaints filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington on Feb. 4.

The case increases tension that began when Sony, Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics, brought cases to the ITC on Dec. 28 against Seoul-based LG, the world’s third-largest maker of mobile phones. The two companies each get more than 20 percent of their revenue from North America. The ITC has the power to block imports of products that violate U.S. patents.

The ITC is investigating claims that LG mobile phones are infringing seven Sony patents. The LG phones named include the Lotus Elite, Neon, Remarq, Rumor 2 and Xenon. A civil lawsuit Sony brought targets LG Blu-ray disc players.

LG also filed civil suits against Sony in federal court in California, making similar claims and seeking cash compensation for the unauthorized use of its inventions. The ITC doesn’t have the power to order financial damages. LG and Sony are the world’s second- and third-largest TV makers, trailing Samsung Electronics Co.

Blu-ray Technology

The patents in the TV case relate to high-definition receivers, and receiving and processing signals. The Blu-ray patents are for a way of dealing with multiple data streams, such as different camera angles, as well as a system to reproduce data that’s stored on a read-only device.

The ITC cases are In the Matter of Certain Digital Televisions, Complaint No. 2785 and In the Matter of Certain Electronic Devices Having a Blu-Ray Disc Player, Complaint NO. 2786, both U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).

Sony’s ITC case is In the Matter of Certain Mobile Telephones and Modems, 337-758, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington). The civil suit is Sony Corp. v. LG Electronics USA Inc., 10cv9967, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California Los Angeles).

Link: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-02-07/lg-files-patent-complaints-against-sony-over-tvs-playstations.html