Monday, 1 December 2008

Sony to pay up, but is it a bargain?

The British-based Gamesdog website reports that computer games giant Sony has been ordered to pay US$18.5m in compensation, after a US court rules that the company was liable for infringement of eight of its patents. The court said it found "clear and convincing evidence" that Sony wilfully infringed patents covering "wireless local area network apparatus" while manufacturing its PSP, mylo Personal Computer and Network Walkman products. The successful claimant was Agere Systems, an integrated circuit components company which first filed the complaint eight patents in 2006. Agere has since merged with a company called LSI.

It may seem like a fair sum of money but, divided among the eight patents, infringed in respect of three separate products, US$18.5 million doesn't seem very much at all. We may speculate as to how much Sony would have had to pay if it had taken 3 x 8 conventional licences.

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