We told you about LG filing a complaint against Sony for patent infringement on their Playstation 3 gaming consoles and Sony Bravia HDTVs, and also about them winning an injunction against the import of PS3s into Europe. Things have now taken a turn for the worse, from Sony’s point of view that is, with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) voting to investigate LG’s complaints against the PS3 and the Bravia TVs in a combined investigation.
Round Two – Fight!
In a statement posted online, the USITC has named the following entities as respondents:
- Sony Corporation of Japan;
- Sony Corporation of America of New York, NY;
- Sony Electronics, Inc., of San Diego, CA;
- Sony Computer Entertainment, Inc., of Japan; and
- Sony Computer Entertainment America LLC of Foster City, CA.
There has been a lawsuit back-and-forth between LG and Sony, dating back to when Sony sued LG for patent infringements on LG’s phones and Blu-Ray players. That matter is also under investigation, so this whole drama might end with both companies getting into import trouble.
If you’re asking why ITC is involved in the first place, the PS3s and Bravias are manufactured outside the US and imported there, which means they’re in direct violation of the Tariff Act, if they are indeed infringing on patent rights. An initial decision is expected within a 45-day period, which will then be put under review by the commission.
Worst case scenario – both companies will be forced to stop imports of their products to the US, but I don’t think the situation will ever escalate that far, a mutual settlement is far more likely.