Sony sued over Blu-ray

California company alleges patent infringements in PS3 maker's latest optical disc technology.


Given its global position as an electronics giant, Sony is quite familiar with patent law. The company is also quite familiar with the potential penalties for running afoul of patent law, as evidenced by the $97 million in damages and interest it had to pay Immersion Corporation in a dispute over the rumble functions in Dual Shock controllers.

While the two companies have since patched things up, Sony opted to leave rumble by the wayside when it was designing the PlayStation 3's motion-sensing Sixaxis controller. The electronics giant couldn't avoid patent headaches entirely, however, as Irvine, California-based Target Technology Company filed suit earlier this month, seeking damages for alleged patent violations relating to the Blu-ray technology used in the system.

The suit, which names Sony Computer Entertainment America, Sony Pictures, and Sony DADC, claims that products marketed under the Blu-ray name infringe on a patent it owns for reflective layer materials in optical discs. The patent addresses what Target called a need for specific types of silver-based alloys with the advantages (but not the price) of gold. According to the patent, the alloys are also more resistant to corrosion than pure silver.

Target does not specify in its suit whether it believes all of Sony's Blu-ray discs infringe on its patent, or the suit applies to just a portion of the discs manufactured. The patent was filed in April of 2004 and granted in March of 2006.

Target is seeking a permanent injunction preventing Sony from violating its patent rights in the future, as well as damages with interest, multiplied due to what it characterizes as deliberate and willful infringement.

Sony representatives declined to comment, while Target's attorneys had not returned GameSpot's requests for comment as of press time.

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    Avatar image for White0lion

    Dont forget little companies try to sue big companies to becone rich. Its the way of life and reason why most lawsuits like this even happpen.

    Avatar image for lrsp

    [This message was deleted at the request of the original poster]

    Avatar image for imayellowfellow

    god some people keep giving props to this Target Company like they're some underdog trying to rise against the malicious evil Sony. And that they deserve a big payoff because they're hardworking people who just wanted to make their product known blah balh blah what about all the people who invested their money into blu ray? wheres the sympathy for them? wat about the people who have already started adopting blu ray as their primary HD format? whats gonna happen to their collection if this case really does make sony go to hell? hmm? wat about all the people who are probably going to get laid off thanks to this since if sony does lose a lot of money they're going to have to cut their losses somehow. god small business + lawsuit = trouble in fact human being + lawsuit = trouble

    Avatar image for Symphonycometh

    TTDog: So its a matter of preference for you then and not just.... Okay. Enough said. Apologies for any possible offense caused by my previous post.

    Avatar image for TTDog

    Simply put the 360 had enough quality titles available after 6 months to make one worth buying, at a much more reasonable price than the PS3. Why buy a PS3 and wait for big titles that keep getting delayed when I can play stuff like Lost Planet, Dead Rising and Crackdown on the 360 and pick up Mass Effect and Bioshock in 3 months time, and all with a controller that rumbles. To me as soon as Oblivion came out I was sold on the console, I haven't seen anything on Sony's new machine to make me want to get one. Most of the PS3 titles look too much like PS2 games but with shinier graphics, theres nothing new in any of them (I don't count waving the controller as new, I call that sad), its way over priced and isn't offering anything new... when/if the innovative titles come out I'll think again but until then... meh.

    Avatar image for Symphonycometh

    TTDog: So with your logic: You didn't buy *If you did*, a 360 for a full year and a half, did you? With the lack of quality, innovative titles for their first year and all...

    Avatar image for TTDog

    "Andron666: "game over man LOL" The Sony bashing wont stop until every 360 owner can afford one themselves" With the lack of quality, innovative titles around at the minute the day I pick up a PS3 will officially be the day I have more money than sense.

    Avatar image for Andron666

    "game over man LOL" The Sony bashing wont stop until every 360 owner can afford one themselves ;) But seriously: Its the patent laws that are ridiculous. The way it works now, it seems, it mostly benefits people out to abuse them...

    Avatar image for Maverick82102

    My PS2 just burned my house down.......Dammit!

    Avatar image for phaserde

    Hey so you all know, Rumble is set to return to the PS3 controller in July (if not by the end of the year). And I dont see this happeneing....this reminds me alot of when Microsoft was tryng to sue Linux (which they later backed off saying they werent going to go through with it--probably because you cant sue Linux since there is no company to sue)

    Avatar image for Itsdewdewbabiee

    Its funny how people are quick to bash Sony... I don't see Sony going anywhere anytime soon... Lets face it eventually you'll get one yourself...

    Avatar image for Slayer420

    If they are talking about all the discs that have been made that are Blu-Ray, that would include movies and games.. Sony could be looking at a HUGE payout to this company. Just remember, nobody had ever heard of the company that patented the rumble feature yet Sony paid up almost $100mil to them. And to Bloodloss.. there is nothing wrong with a company trying to preserve their intellectual rights. If Sony, a mega corporation, is cheating the system to thier advantage, I hope they pay for it.

    Avatar image for Symphonycometh

    SnuffDaddyNZ: So since you hate Sony for that reason... Using that logic, would it not be fair to say you hate the X-box as well? Since they had no more than 10 must own games last gen? Even if this Gen, the 360 seems to be doing a lot better?...

    Avatar image for NND1

    No Rumble / No Custom soundtracks -- That alone is too much to deal with....

    Avatar image for bloodyrooster

    This is so unbelievably hilarious, just when things get bad for the PS3 they get worse and worse! hahahaha

    Avatar image for BloodLoss

    Law suits must be the third most popular sport in america, right after football and stalking. I mean, seriously, get a new hobby... or better yet, get a new legal system!

    Avatar image for MarcusMaximus04

    @xxlinkxx: wow... so because they are suing sony about the use of silver alloys in their blu-ray disks, that makes them xbox fanboys? They're suing over the disks moron, not the ps3. Try reading the article.

    Avatar image for cardiac_cat

    Give me a break, no company or person will ever be able to bring down Sony. And PS3 will prevail on top of the current gen of gaming (which by the way does not include the Wii). There is no doubt about this.

    Avatar image for Pedro7_2000

    Good Lord!!! If Sony loses this, it will be game over. Although, Sony's such a huge company, odds are they won't lose. But still, there's risk they might....

    Avatar image for Xrm150

    Well thats buisness for ya!

    Avatar image for KrazyKhallos

    Yawn... What next...? I bet some uptight company will soon sue PS3 for having a Hard Drive and motion sensitive conrollers... :D

    Avatar image for faceman420

    bummer, I hope this doesnt stop Sony from supporting blue-ray

    Avatar image for deactivated-59603ff9b9423

    This kind of stuff happens all the time to large companies. It's not a reason to hate Sony.

    Avatar image for SnuffDaddyNZ

    What does this all mean? Does it mean that Bluray can only store more because it infringed this company's patent? One thing I do know is that Sony just got wtf Pwned! EDIT: About, "Why the Sony hate". My hate from them stems firstly because they aquired a 5 year exclusive license to make Formula One games, and Sony's game is a piece of trash. Secondly, I hate them because they block the flow of FREEWARE on the PSP. Thirdly, and finally, I hate them because they sold me a PSP and then have not supported it with top quality first party titles that are original and not ports of existing titles on the PS2.

    Avatar image for Deluka

    umm duh is being sued not the other way around. I think it's all stupid to be honest

    Avatar image for rottenjoe

    haha.. i bet sony is only suein cuz they need the money.. not because they where outraged.

    Avatar image for infestedcyborg1

    damn that sucks, but it wont stop them from using blu - ray.

    Avatar image for jogunther

    I doubt a vague discription of disc technology will be enought to stop the true owners of Blue Ray. Sony, Toshiba, and co. Seriously, can't everyone try to keep an open mind. So quick to trash the other side. My recent comment on Halo 3 profits will prove that unbiased comments are POSSIBLE.

    Avatar image for xxlinkxx

    Looks like Target has Xbox Fan boys running crap around there.

    Avatar image for Symphonycometh

    smoothn00dle: lol. If that's so...then its more noise than we ever did.:D lol.

    Avatar image for smoothn00dle

    @Symphonycometh it is not many ppl, just a forum minority group making a lot of noise...

    Avatar image for Symphonycometh

    ...Why is there so much Sony hate? I hope Target gets sued for similar stupidtiy!:P

    Avatar image for LittleYoshi

    ***READ***ONLY*** What now people are going to sued Sony's PS3 for being a good looking system!!! (Conpare to the other system the PS3 is a sexy system.) Why don't people pick on the 360 and wii (a bit more if they don't already) Sony got the same right to make a system so don't hate people. The more you hate it the more dumb your going to look in the end.

    Avatar image for wateverboy

    man, why are some of you hate sony so much. they didnt do anything to you. all they did was make a system call ps3 and try to sell it. if you dont want one just leave cause $ony wont go away.

    Avatar image for Symphonycometh

    readyss: Congrats. You would be one of the ones that come at me...with decent skills in the English writing. Now that that's out the way: Sony is losing a lot of fanbase... But when that price drops... Man how people return! :P

    Avatar image for PhilElsen

    I wonder when we will get some good news from Sonys cos at the moment their just loseing money. I have to say that the PS2 was very popular and not that bad but the PS3 is all down hill it seems.

    Avatar image for rodimus_prime85

    "Do you know who we are? We are SONY. Like we give a s---" - Probably the official press release

    Avatar image for MadGamer132

    why Sony get into legal trouble. i just don't know.

    Avatar image for readyss

    Symphonycometh I could easily burn you...but we have 2 users that explained what I was going to tell you. You need to relax and stop attempting to trip me up on my every word...especially since you didn't explore my statement to the fullest... Your PS3...if you ever had one, broke...good for you... You are surely a minority and don't speak for the majority. Here...Your mentailty would be more fitted here: << LINK REMOVED >> Leading one lost lamb at a time. *Note, I know there are several X-box owners who are smart and honest...but he's still more fitted here.****************************************************************************** lol to shay ^_^, but if you haven't noticed the minority are becoming the majority without even having the Numbers...doesn't make sense right? or is that one group speaks more often then the other to make it look that way. (BTW send emails to ur congress and say "no to Amnesty or well vote you Out!")

    Avatar image for LessThanMike

    Way to go sony, can't do anything for yourself...gotta steal it from other people, lol!

    Avatar image for metc123

    TTDog: Its not as if Sony haven't done this before... cough... rumble... cough. LoLLL @ TTDog.......

    Avatar image for mac24

    TTDog, Apparently you also believe that Microsoft isn't capable of doing such practices. If you truly believe that their Xbox is such an 'orginal' innovation, then tell me why they're using DVD technology for their console (hey, PS2 was the first console to utilize the DVD format). Oh, why is it that Xbox even has rumble? Oh, yeah, (cough) they (cough, cough, cough) copied (cough...HYPROCRITE) the "others". As for Microsoft in general, does anyone wonder why Windows Vista looks soooooo much like Mac OS X? The probable only reason why Microsoft could get away so easily is that they have an army of lawyers that is so good that they can clear Stalin, bin Laden, Hitler Mao and other notorious people of any 'wrongdoing'.

    Avatar image for Symphonycometh

    @StSk8ter29: Shhhh!:P The 360 fanboys don't want a memory recap, or they wouldn't be talking trash about the PS3! I hope this doesn't force Sony to stop using Blu-Ray...

    Avatar image for mrfrieze

    Target just want in on some the crop to come from blu-ray. It just stupid. I dont see the law suit going anywhere. It went into effect in o6 i remember hearing about the playstation 3 in 05 and blu-ray has always been apart of the system so target might have a losing case on their hands. Just stupid.

    Avatar image for StSk8ter29

    What's odd is that even though ps3 has a shortage of games, I'm still having much more fun with them than I did with the games I own on 360, that's just me. Ps3 isn't going to die, in fact by having it I feel like I'm a true gamer. The media likes to say that the ps3 is in last, which it is right now, but to say that it has no hope is calling out failure a little too soon. Especially since it takes most systems around a year to start getting some really impressive games (a la gears of war).

    Avatar image for metc123

    Poor old sony.......... i wonder how much money they lose anyway on every PS3 unit sold... Metriod 20 / 8 / 07 lol

    Avatar image for TTDog

    Its not as if Sony haven't done this before... cough... rumble... cough.

    Avatar image for mbarnard

    @MasterChief-CFE and the comment that they don't need to check US patents: Sorry, that is wrong. They absolutely have to check U.S. patents (and other countries as well). Especially if they want to sell the product there.

    Avatar image for zskrabs24

    this lawsuit is very dumb, sounds to me like they're suing over a name and wtf are the odds of 2 things having the name blu-ray anyway?