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Sony Fined $18.5 Million in Patent Infringement Suit

50°
304w ago - Over two years ago, Agere Systems filed a suit against Sony for potential infringement on patents regarding "wireless local area network apparatus."

Looks like the courts ruled in Agere Systems' favor.

Sony has been fined $18.5 million for use of the technology in their devices, such as the Mylo and PlayStation Portable.

Finally, the jury ruled that the patent infringement was willful.
 

Firm Sues Nintendo for Patent Infringement

200°
317w ago - Hillcrest Labs, a Maryland-based technology firm, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Nintendo in US Federal Court today, claiming that Nintendo's Wii console violated Hillcrest Labs' patent rights.

Hillcrest Labs alleges that Nintendo violated patents relating to a handheld three-dimensonal pointing device.

The company said that it holds 29 patents relating to that technology.

"While Hillcrest Labs has a great deal of respect for Nintendo and the Wii, Hillcrest Labs believes that Nintendo is in clear violation of its patents and has taken this action to protect its intellectual property rights," the company said in a statement.

Nintendo had no comment on the litigation.
 

Nintendo hit with $21 million Patent Infringement

50°
331w ago - Nintendo of America Inc. was ordered to pay a small East Texas gaming company $21 million Wednesday for infringing on a patent while designing controllers for its popular Wii and GameCube systems.

A federal jury found in favor of Anascape Ltd. in the lawsuit that was originally filed in 2006. Nintendo spokesman Charlie Scibetta said the company will seek an appeal and expects the court to reduce the award "significantly."

The jury found that Nintendo infringed on Anascape's patent while designing its Wii Classic, WaveBird and Gamecube controllers.

Scibettra said Nintendo was pleased no infringement was found with the motion-sensing technology used in its wandlike Wii and Nuncheck controllers, which mimic movements by users in games such as tennis and boxing.

Attorneys for Anascape did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Tyler-based Anascape also sued Microsoft Corp. for patent infringements on game controllers but reached an agreement with the company before the start of the trial against Nintendo, The Lufkin Daily News reported.

Microsoft said in a statement that terms of the settlement reached May 1 were confidential.
 

Microsoft Owns Patent for In-Game Custom Soundtracks

650°
337w ago - One of the most coveted features missing from the PlayStation 3 is the ability to use a custom soundtrack during gameplay. Movement has been made in this area with some games beginning to offer support, notably Super Stardust HD and High Velocity Bowling, but it's yet to be offered for all games.

Though many expect the inclusion to come when Sony supports an in-game version of PlayStation 3's cross media bar, the implementation of this feature might just stay with the developers, since Microsoft owns a patent for this very functionality.

Microsoft implemented the ability to play your own music during gameplay in their first gaming system, the Xbox. The functionality naturally moved over to the Xbox 360, where Microsoft was patiently waiting for a patent to go through.

The custom soundtrack patent was submitted well before the release of the 360, presumably with the intention to lock down the feature for the next generation. It wasn't issued until mid-2006, luckily just before the US/Japan release of the PlayStation 3.

The US patent named "Method and Apparatus for Creating and Playing Soundtracks in a Gaming System" appears to cover any application that allows users to create soundtracks using...
 

PSP Phone file patent from 2006 revealed

50°
341w ago - A PSP phone patent application that Sony filed back in 2006 has been unearthed recently.

It looks a bit like the DS and the application says it has a full touchscreen that could emulate the fascia set-up of the PSP, that is "complete with haptic tactile feedback to give the simulated buttons some definition during use."

To quote: Other details indicate that Sony Ericsson was thinking of making use of such a touchscreen-focused device to deliver unique Walkman, Cyber-shot and internet browsing interfaces to a mobile, too.

So effectively what we're talking about here is Sony Ericsson's take on the iPhone with a PSP thrown in.

What's particularly interesting is that the patent predates the iPhone patent being made public by one week, meaning the company had a chance at being remembered in history as launching a revolutionary touchscreen mobile phone before Apple. That's if it had bothered to go to market with the product, obviously.
 
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