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Sony To “Face an Uphill Battle” Against LG

March 9, 2011Written by Sebastian Moss

Tomorrow is a very important day for Sony. No, they are not releasing a new game. No, they are not releasing a new console. In fact, one of the most important events in the PlayStation 3’s history will be taking place in a court room in the Netherlands. As the main import route for Sony’s console, a patent infringement claim from LG that caused the nation to seize all stocked PS3s potentially cost the company millions, and could cost them far more. Tomorrow, Sony will be fighting the ban, trying to seek financial reimbursement for lost revenue, as well as allowing the PS3 to go finally back on sale, but unfortunately, it does not look good for the Japanese console manufacturer, with Sony set to “face an uphill battle”.

Talking in an exclusive interview with PlayStation LifeStyle, influential intellectual property activist, and author of twelve computer books, Florian Mueller gave his opinion on the outcome of Sony’s court case tomorrow:

I have only seen LG’s complaint that led to the prejudgment seizure order and don’t know which arguments Sony is going to present. But I believe they face an uphill battle after having lost the first round there.

He also weighed in on how much a loss could cost Sony:

LG made a commitment to the Blu-ray Disc Association that it would grant licenses to its essential Blu-ray patents on fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. This means Sony is entitled to a license, and LG can’t overcharge. Sony will probably argue that the technologies covered by the patents LG asserted, two of which are specific to the display of subtitles, are only a small part of all patented inventions required to build a PlayStation. LG may be able to demonstrate that other major companies paid relatively high royalties. I don’t want to speculate about the outcome. Given that there are thousands of potentially patentable inventions in a PlayStation, I would probably think of much less than $10 per unit, but that’s just my personal take and could be off base.

Stay tuned to PSLS for the full interview with Florian Mueller here.