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Sony Files Patent Infringement Claim Against LG

December 30, 2010

Two of the largest mobile phone makers in the world became locked in a legal battle on Thursday, as Sony filed a patent infringement complaint against LG Electronics, accusing the company of using Sony technology in its devices without permission.

The complaint, which accuses LG of violating trade rules by importing mobile phones that infringed upon Sony-owned patents, was filed late Wednesday evening with the US International Trade Commission, according to Liana B. Baker of Reuters. The company has also filed a similar complaint in a Los Angeles federal court and is seeking to prevent LG smartphones from being sold in America.

“Sony said the patent infringement relates to more than 10 phones including the Encore, LG Accolade, Neon, Quantum, Rumor Touch and others,” Baker reported on Thursday. “The patents in the suit involve audio and microphone devices in phones, caller ID technology and transmission power.”

In comments made to the AFP, officials from the South Korean-based LG, the third-largest mobile phone developer in the world, said that they would “take action and actively respond” to Sony’s accusations.

“LG’s mobile phone business has been under heavy pressure due to its slow response to the fast-growing popularity of smartphones,” the French news agency reported on Thursday. “Chief executive Nam Yong resigned in September after the mobile phone business stumbled”¦ [and] LG’s third-quarter net profit plunged 99 percent year-on-year to 7.57 billion won (6.6 million dollars).”

According to Baker, “The ITC case is In re: Certain Mobile Phones and Modems, U.S. International Trade Commission, No. 337-TA”¦ [and] the California case is Sony Corp. v. LG Electronics USA Inc. et al, U.S. District Court, Central District of California, No. 2:10-09967.”

The legal action came just hours after Japanese-language newspaper Asahi Shimbun reported that Sony’s PlayStation Phone could be released by Spring 2011 in Europe and North America.

Based on the information in that report, as well as details included in a separate AFP story, the smartphone would be based on the company’s existing PSP Go gaming system and would be manufactured by Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications. It would also feature a touch pad, a 1GHz Qualcomm CPU, 512MB of RAM, 1GB of ROM, and a 3.7 inch to 4.1 inch screen, according to an MSNBC.com report on Wednesday.

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