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LG Wants PlayStation 3 Banned From US Market

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the if-you-can't-beat-'em-sue-'em dept.

Patents 165

FlorianMueller writes "On Friday LG filed a complaint against Sony with the US International Trade Commission, claiming the PlayStation 3 infringes four Blu-ray Disc patents and demanding a permanent ban of the PS3 (and possibly other products) from the US market. LG, which boasts that it owns 90,000 patents worldwide, appears to take this step in retaliation for a previous Sony complaint about various LG smartphones, which the ITC is already investigating. This is reminiscent of Motorola's infringement action against the Xbox 360 that is part of its wider dispute with Microsoft. In other words, you touch my smartphones and I bomb your game consoles."

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Wait... (0)

Dexter Herbivore (1322345) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136850)

Wait, am I mistaken in believing that Sony invented the Blu-Ray protocol? Is LG trying to cash in at this late stage?

Re:Wait... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35136882)

Sony was one of the board members of the Blu-Ray Disc Association who established the standard. However, so was LG.

Blu-Ray Disc Association (5, Informative)

Enderandrew (866215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136886)

9 companies were in on the formation of Blu-ray, though Sony is widely creditted as being the primary creators of the technology.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc_Association [wikipedia.org]

Re:Blu-Ray Disc Association (2)

staticneuron (975073) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137772)

Which means LG going after Sony in this manner could probably result in a retaliatory action that would call for the halt of sale for all blu ray devices that LG makes because of some obscure BR patent owned by Sony. This doesn't seem like a good idea at all.

Re:Blu-Ray Disc Association (3, Insightful)

ghjm (8918) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137922)

The idea is that both companies hold so many patents that starting an actual war just results in the annihilation of both parties. But then Sony launched a missile. What's LG supposed to do? Not respond?

Re:Blu-Ray Disc Association (2, Funny)

natehoy (1608657) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138010)

This is already a retaliatory action. Even the summary mentions this.

Han Sony shot first.

Re:Blu-Ray Disc Association (3, Interesting)

erroneus (253617) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138052)

On the contrary! This is an AWESOME thing! I've got to stock up on popcorn and other snacks while I watch this unfold into what I hope is so much patent litigation that the government steps in and kills software patents entirely. ("If you two can't play together then you can't play at all! No more software patents for ANYONE!")

Re:Blu-Ray Disc Association (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138302)

So, if you get rid of software patents, or ban the PS3 from the US market - does that make it ok to execute your own code (possibly using a special number plastered all over the internet) within the US?

Re:Blu-Ray Disc Association (1)

Daniel Phillips (238627) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138086)

Which means LG going after Sony in this manner could probably result in a retaliatory action that would call for the halt of sale for all blu ray devices that LG makes because of some obscure BR patent owned by Sony. This doesn't seem like a good idea at all.

On the contrary, Blu Ray player shipments are a small part of LG's business while they are a major part of Sony's.

Looking forward to Sony retreating with tail between its legs on this one. Couldn't happen to a nicer company.

Re:Blu-Ray Disc Association (0)

morari (1080535) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138366)

Anything that goes against Sony is a good idea...

Re:Wait... (1)

pinkeen (1804300) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136896)

The summary is probably misleading. Apparently LG claims to have patents which Bluray infringes.

Re:Wait... (1)

muindaur (925372) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136978)

I read the patent claims too(at the end of the complaint linked in the article.) I saw some of them filed in 2007. and the PS3 was launched in Nov 2006.

So right there Sony has a prior art defense, and that's not in addition to the fact they were part of the development of BluRay.

Re:Wait... (2)

Fzz (153115) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137420)

The US patent was filed in 2007, but the priority date is 2003 because LG hold a Korean patent dated 2003. The US has a "first to invent" patent system. The priority date on LG's US patent is the invention date - 2003 - not the filing date of 2007.

Maybe LG filed the US patent in 2007 because they could already see Sony infringed. But the US patent system allows that, so long as you can prove the invention date. Screwed up it may be, but that's the law in the US.

Most other places have a "first to file" system; they wouldn't get away with this on an EU patent for example.

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137764)

Just out of curiosity, why do you think a first-to-file system is better than a first-to-invent one?

Re:Wait... (1)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138566)

First to file is better because the entire point of the patent system is to encourage disclosure. With a first to invent system, the best strategy is to keep your invention private, wait until someone else files, and then say 'we invented that first, we'll take that patent please'. With first to invent, if you invent but don't disclose then the only thing that you can do when someone else independently invents something is prevent them from acquiring a patent (prior art). This has two effects. The first is that people who want patents disclose early. The second is that stuff that is invented by two people in a short time doesn't get patented at all.

Re:Wait... (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137814)

Except the US is only first-to-invent-if-you-file-within-a-year, I thought.

So, if you invent, and then wait over a year to file, no patent for you, at least if the examiner is competent, and if my understanding is correct.

Re:Wait... (1)

Fzz (153115) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138336)

You're correct - I forgot about that. But isn't it 12 months from publication, not 12 months from invention? I don't know if filing a Korean patent counts as publication, or only when the Korean patent is granted. Perhaps they filed the patent in Korea in 2003, were granted it in 2006 establishing the publication date, and filed the US patent.

Another posibility is they did also file a US patent in 2003/4, and the 2007 US patent is a continuation patent [wikipedia.org] based on the 2003 material but with amended claims. That happens all the time.

But I'm not a lawyer - just successfully contested a coulple of patents in court as an expert witness.

Re:Wait... (1)

jrumney (197329) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137832)

Even in Europe you can use a foreign patent to establish an earlier priority date. IIRC, you have 12 months from the original patent being granted to file in other countries before the priority is lost.

Re:Wait... (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35136918)

More like LG owns some of the patents behind the technology behind it (but not the protocol itself) and are using that is bite back at Sony for their patent infringement charges they are pressing against their phones.

Basically put, Sony should learn "Thoughs who live in glass houses, shouldn't throw stones" They didn't listen and threw something at someone who could return the favor.

Re:Wait... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137932)

*those

what you said is Thoughs. Everyone should know though, you can't plural an adverb.

Patents: (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35136888)

Encouraging research and innovation all over the place! Thank goodness for patents! Where would we all be without them?

ahem (5, Funny)

shentino (1139071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136898)

Sony, you know that sharp pain in your rear right now?

That is what us commoners call karma, and it is currently biting you in the ass.

Re:ahem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137060)

Yeah, that's really helpful. You know Sony won't understand that message. Allow me:

Sony, you know that sharp pain in your elbow right now?

That is what we commoners call karma, and it is currently biting you in the elbow.

(If you've read their claims against geohotz, you'd know they have problems telling the difference...)

Re:ahem (3, Funny)

Carewolf (581105) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137184)

While all this all-out world-destroying MAD all-against-all lawyering is nice. It is the SLOWEST moving armageddon I've ever seen!!

Re:ahem (2)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137300)

Lawsuits are a slow means of destruction in most cases...

Re:ahem (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138322)

errr ahhhh exactly how many armageddons (sic) have you witnessed?

Re:ahem (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137280)

I'm just waiting for SCO to sue Sony for infringing on its shoot-self-in-chest-multiple-times business method.

Re:ahem (3, Interesting)

master811 (874700) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137874)

I know you joke, but it would be Sony Ericsson filing against LG, not Sony (which only half owns SE). This is different from Motorola, where they are all the same company.

Too many lawsuits (2)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136914)

There's so many tech companies suing each other (sometimes simultaneously for different reasons) that this really is just another drop in the bucket.

Re:Too many lawsuits (2, Insightful)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136976)

I believe that some "genius"in these companies concluded that it is more profitable to sue other companies that actually produce products to sell to someone.

Seriously, it's best to just shoot the heads of these lunatics before this insanity can get worse?

Re:Too many lawsuits (4, Informative)

SharpFang (651121) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137200)

There are quite few companies that -sue first- Patents portfolios are often compared to WMD arsenal. You keep your patents so that nobody dares to attack you because they infringe on many of your patents. If they do though, you launch a retaliatory strike. You must be either very inexperienced or have really massive portfolio (or have your essential profit source attacked) to assert your patents. Or simply be a patent troll with no production at all (so unable to infringe upon any patents). Of course if you get attacked, you counterattack with full strength in hope to intimidate the opponent into out-of-court settlement and backing off from their attack. Yeah, Sony, let us sell our smartphones and we will let you sell your Playstations. Following up and not settling leads to MAD, because companies can easily kill each other's production entirely, because about every single product out there infringes on one patent or another in possession of some other company, so if they launch total war, the court can shut down operations of both - and without sources of revenue they won't be able to pay compensation for patent violations and go down really fast.

And the winner is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137544)

...the business of government. I find it alarming that so many people are quick to blame the companies doing the suing. They may be crooks, but it was government that made them who they are. It was government that encouraged them to exploit the legal system, because the more they do so, the more government benefits. It is government and ONLY government that holds the key to all this.

The lunacy which is the US legal system costs hundreds of billions per year to run. The US government's overly complex, ambiguous legal system has justified absurd levels of power and revenue for the elite at the top of the pyramid. Imagine a society where everybody takes responsibility for their own actions, admits when they are wrong and moves on. What's in that for government? A missed opportunity, that's what. The real spoils come from a society where people are constantly at war with each other, suing for anything and everything, while the elite at the top laugh all the way to the bank.

Re:And the winner is... (2)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137656)

I find it alarming that so many people are quick to blame the companies doing the suing. They may be crooks, but it was government that made them who they are. It was government that encouraged them to exploit the legal system, because the more they do so, the more government benefits. It is government and ONLY government that holds the key to all this.

Can I start the nominations for the Stupidest Slashdot Comments of 2011?

Re:And the winner is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138614)

I suspect you'd have an easier time understanding if you viewed government as the business it really is. So here's the executive summary: Government is in the business of running the legal system (among countless other things). Logically, the more traffic through the legal system -- no matter what type -- the more the business of government benefits, both in revenue and power. Furthermore, the costlier and more complex the legal system gets, the more precedent and justification for new expansions of power and revenue. It's a snowball effect, and the snowball has been rolling for the better part of a century -- and the elite who control the business of government are well aware of this (even though you may not be). It may be hard for you to swallow, but the people who run the business of government are working for the benefit of themselves first, their business second, and you and me last.

You're not in the business of government, are you?

Re:And the winner is... (1)

silanea (1241518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137884)

You missed step number 1, in which those companies went on a shopping spree within the government and bought themselves a legal system that allows for this nonsense in the first place.

Re:And the winner is... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138082)

You missed the part where government and ONLY government holds the key. I don't care how big the bribe is -- the person who ACCEPTS the bribe is 100% responsible.

Re:And the winner is... (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138488)

Except when you have a representative democracy where big business controls the media.

Then, even if people don't accept the bribe, they just get voted out and replaced with puppets of the big business.

Re:Too many lawsuits (3, Insightful)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137552)

Also very useful at stopping new companies from setting up shop.

If they cough, you sue the crap out of them. They won't have enough Patent Power to fight back and they collapse.

Re:Too many lawsuits (3, Informative)

Sockatume (732728) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136988)

LG and Sony are both members of the coalition that created the Blu-Ray standard, though. It's kind of perverse that LG would then turn around and start suing members of that coalition for patent infringement for using a technology they helped develop and promote. Perhaps next time somebody forms such a coalition they should put a nonagression clause in the agreement alongside the trademark licencing for the logo.

Re:Too many lawsuits (5, Informative)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137252)

I suspect that LG has no actual interest in damaging the success of blu-ray as such; but are rather just playing the classic "Patents: Mutually Assured Destruction" game that large companies play. Since patents are so numerous, and often so broad, it is likely that both Sony and LG are guilty as sin of violating one another's patents. However, Sony was tactless enough to sue LG about it. Instead of just trying a conventional defense-in-court(and potentially ending up paying out serious cash and/or having injunctions placed against important products), LG is counter-suing. Since both parties know that they, and their opponent, are almost certainly guilty, the end result will probably be an out-of-court arrangement of some sort, with an agreement to drop the issue, and possibly a cash payment from the party with the less impressive patent chest to the one with the more impressive one...

Aside from the futile legal costs this imposes on the big players, there are two main problems with this status-quo strategy:

One, it gives the large players substantial latitude to threaten, and then crush or aquire, small competitors. If it is titan to titan, both sides can be reasonably assured that the other violates their patents in some ways and they violate the other's patents in some ways. If it is a titan vs. a startup, the latter has few or no patents to violate, and almost certainly violates(or is close enough to potentially violating that they could be tied up in court long after the VC money runs out...) the larger company's patents. This creates an unfortunate pro-incumbent pressure.

Second, of course, are the patent trolls. As long as you don't produce anything but lawsuits, you probably don't violate anybody's patents. You therefore spend your time acquiring patents at fire sales and bankruptcies in the greatest bulk possible, at the lowest cost possible, and then use those to shake down the people who actually do produce things. Since a protracted legal battle is expensive and risky(because of product injunctions or willful infringement damages), you can usually walk away with a quick chunk of cash if you size your extortion demands correctly.

Good. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138628)

Your first "problem" isn't a problem at all, but the exact purpose of the patent system. Protecting large businesses from new competition is what patents are for. That isn't the ostensible purpose of course...but the ostensible purpose is just there to get buy-in from the very people who are harmed by patents.

Your second problem isn't really a problem for the big businesses...patent trolling only harms the startups, so it is more of an unintended side-benefit.

The rich and powerful don't care about level playing fields or vibrant economies. They just care about staying rich and powerful. This should all be obvious to anyone who gives these issues a modicum of thought.

Re:Too many lawsuits (2)

Theaetetus (590071) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137432)

LG and Sony are both members of the coalition that created the Blu-Ray standard, though. It's kind of perverse that LG would then turn around and start suing members of that coalition for patent infringement for using a technology they helped develop and promote. Perhaps next time somebody forms such a coalition they should put a nonagression clause in the agreement alongside the trademark licencing for the logo.

If LG was holding back patents that were essential to the Blu-Ray patent pool, the DoJ may start looking at them for anti-trust violations.

Re:Too many lawsuits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137732)

Because the US DoJ has a lot of power in Korea right?

Re:Too many lawsuits (1)

SadButTrue (848439) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138712)

How are patent law and trust law related in this case?

Re:Too many lawsuits (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137882)

LG and Sony are both members

I can honestly say that if both companies went down in flames of lawsuit conflagration I would not care even a little bit. If Blu-Ray technology was locked away in a chest and sent to the bottom of the sea forever, my life would not be reduced in any way.

Now, Sony does make a little portable AM-FM radio, the SRF-M37W, that I use to listen to my local sports franchises' games while I walk my dog in the evening, but that radio is a cheapened and much crummier version of the model it replaced, and anyway, Sangean makes a much nicer portable anyway. And the Sangean is made much better and doesn't make me feel dirty every time I see the logo like the Sony does.

Other than that, Sony and LG can both burn in hell. I am now going to view every single web page that either contains or discusses the software crack of the PS3. I don't own a PS3, but that doesn't matter. I may comment at those websites if they have not been taken down.

Re:Too many lawsuits (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138686)

They want to cash in with the infamous Rambus-maneuver. It goatses like this: first you're there and then you hit the warp paddle to the metal, unleashing the warped torrent of law suits coming from the rear end of you starship. Then your here and are still visible there, confusing the little remaining parts of bejeezus out of your opponents lawyers. Their target their bursting counter suits to the gaping void where they still see your starship. Then you win.

Woah... some of these patents are ridiculous. (3, Informative)

chemicaldave (1776600) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137046)

From the complaint itself...

The general technology at issue involves the playback of Blu-Ray Discs, i.e., the reproduction of data recorded on Blu-Ray Disc media. As discussed below, LGE hold patents addressed to certain elements of Blu-Ray Disc playback. for example, two of the Asserted Patents, the '080 patent and the '961 patent, relate to reproducing data from a recording medium, i.e., a Blu-Ray Disc, including linking areas and data areas. Another of the Asserted Patents, the '835 patent, relates to technology for managing the reproduction o f multiple data streams, e.g., multiple camera angles, that are recorded on a recording medium, i.e., a Blu-Ray Disc. The remaining Asserted Patent, the '398 patent, relates to technology for reproducing a text subtitle stream that is recorded on a recorded medium, i.e., a Blu-Ray Disc, and updating palette information, e.g., font color and opacity, for the text subtitle stream.

Jesus, does Microsoft have a patent for recreating font styles stored in a text document?

Re:Woah... some of these patents are ridiculous. (1)

TheDarkMaster (1292526) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137270)

Shhhhhh do not give ideas!

Re:Woah... some of these patents are ridiculous. (2)

noidentity (188756) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137382)

In the future, I'm guessing there will be a patent on adding a plurality of integer values, each equaling one, to give the result two, and another on adding a plurality of integer values, one equaling one, the other equaling two, to give a result of three, etc.

Re:Woah... some of these patents are ridiculous. (2)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137416)

This is why the patent system is broken. If you can't patent the idea of changing fonts and styles in a word processing document, you shouldn't be able to patent the same concept in a spreadsheet, or video player, or anywhere else. The technology is the same, you're just implementing it somewhere else. It's not groundbreaking, nor does it require huge amounts of development time.

Re:Woah... some of these patents are ridiculous. (1)

AlecC (512609) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137514)

Which suggests to me that these patents could quite possibly be invalidated by a good (but therefore expensive) search for prior art. These all strike me as things that have probably been done before, but probably in a rather different manner. For example, I am sure that someone has recorded multiple camera angles on a single medium (e.g. a Raid array) before, but you need a lawyer to find the appropriate language to say that, as a recording medium, a raid array is the equivalent of a Blu-Ray,

Re:Woah... some of these patents are ridiculous. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137622)

Jesus, does Microsoft have a patent for recreating font styles stored in a text document?

I assure you, they do. (The ClearType patents, off the top of my head. I'm confident they have others.)

Re:Too many lawsuits (1)

martas (1439879) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137636)

one word: clusterfuck

Re:Too many lawsuits (1)

rwv (1636355) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137644)

I don't know about you, but I enjoy when Mega-Corporations fight. Their pissing contests serve to expose how broken the system is.

Re:Too many lawsuits (1)

Bjecas (1753752) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138410)

I long for the day a judge starts lumping patent infringement lawsuits together. It'd be the end of the current Patent Cold War, with the assured destruction of all the major players. They'd either move away from patenting altogether or die out, either way letting the rest of us free to work on building a better world...

meh sony (0)

Revek (133289) | more than 3 years ago | (#35136928)

I kinda down on sony after that last article. Go team karma!

Re:meh sony (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35136994)

Yeah. I'm sitting here contemplating upgrading my TV to a shiny new LG one after both these stories.

Re:meh sony (1)

Vectormatic (1759674) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137736)

Hell, i'm hoping samsung joins in and slaps Sony silly as well, i like their TVs slightly better ;)

Not to mention the whole Oracle Vs Android stuff (which samsung is a part of), but that is slightly more paradoxical, since i make my living mostly with java..

Dont Worry LG (-1, Offtopic)

FudRucker (866063) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137000)

I am not buying a Playstation-3 because of Sony's heavy hand at attacking people for PS3 hardware hacks, I figure if I own the hardware I should be able to do what I want with it...

Re:Dont Worry LG (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137228)

This just in... Sony doesn't care about you - they make their money off Pepsi drinking teenage kids whose parents buy them all of the latest gadgets and go out and buy bucketfuls of the latest PS3 games to stop the kids from whining.

Re:Dont Worry LG (1)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137700)

Sony doesn't care about you - they make their money off Pepsi drinking teenage kids whose parents buy them all of the latest gadgets and go out and buy bucketfuls of the latest PS3 games to stop the kids from whining.

I hope not for Sony's sake. Those parents have lost their jobs and their houses are in foreclosure and their credit cards are maxed out. Sony may need to review their business model.

Re:Dont Worry LG (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137690)

I am not buying a Playstation-3 because of Sony's heavy hand at attacking people for PS3 hardware hacks, I figure if I own the hardware I should be able to do what I want with it...

You probably think you "own" your movies on DVD, don't you? After all, that's what all the ads tell you.

I want nothing to do with Sony. They have no problems taking control of YOUR hardware and doing whatever they want with it. But perish forfend if you want to do the same with THEIR hardware!

US patents are stupid (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137032)

In general, being a foreigner, I think the biggest technological problem with the US is their (IMO) clueless and braindead patent office. You can basically patent just about anything and when you find someone other company or individual using it its "We'll sue!".

Of course; trying to reach a compromise might actually result in business deals which can be profitable for both parties, but it would appear as if many US companies seem totally incapable to think or reason beyond the word "lawsuit".

Quite a pathetic sight in my opinion.

Re:US patents are stupid (2)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137362)

Foreigner or not, your thinking makes sense to me. I swear, my fellow Americans are all freaking brain dead lunatics. And, having put that statement into print, I'm certain that one or more of the brain dead lunatics will be dragging me to court soon.

Re:US patents are stupid (1)

gartogg (317481) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137826)

How would you suggest running the patent office - the rest of the world generally does a worse job and/or relies on US patents.

You have a limited budget, and those skilled enough to investigate won't work for the money you can afford to pay them. Oh, and you have a legal requirement to deal with patents in a given time frame.

Re:US patents are stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137980)

How would you suggest running the patent office - the rest of the world generally does a worse job and/or relies on US patents.

You clearly have never compared the examination process that is undertaken in the European patent office ( where they will dig up relevant or prior art not only from international patents but also from published papers and text books) with that of the USPTO who seem only to look at US patents and, even then, often miss out some critical ones.

Re:US patents are stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138148)

How would you suggest running the patent office - the rest of the world generally does a worse job and/or relies on US patents.

You have a limited budget, and those skilled enough to investigate won't work for the money you can afford to pay them. Oh, and you have a legal requirement to deal with patents in a given time frame.

Sigh. There was a time when Einstein worked for the patent office. :-(

Of course, the problem is easy enough to solve. the patent investigators gets paid enough to hire competent personell. And this cost is paid by those who tries to get patents. So patents gets expensive, but they'll actually work as intended. And people won't try to get bogus patents when they are both expensive and likely to be rejected without getting the money back.

Re:US patents are stupid (1)

AhabTheArab (798575) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138064)

Apparently it's not as profitable for these entities to actually do what's best for the consumer.

from the if-you-can't-beat-'em-shoot-'em dept. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137044)

double meaning there? the 'marketplace' is getting more like that?

Doesn't quite scan (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137110)

(Patent) War! Huh!

What is it good for?

Exposing the ridiculousness of the current patent system!

Say it again y'all...

Sheesh (1, Offtopic)

killmenow (184444) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137126)

I'm a lawyer!
He's a lawyer!
She's a lawyer!
We're a lawyer!
Wouldn't you like to be a lawyer? SUE!

denying all these devices (4, Insightful)

Vapula (14703) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137132)

It would be fun if a couple of judges decided to act together and ban all the infringing devices...

Immediate ban on XBox, PS3, iPhone, Android Phones, Windows Phones, and so on...

I guess that it'd not take long before all these tech companies start to lobby against flacky patents and the associated lawsuits...

Re:denying all these devices (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137198)

I think game starved youths would respond by hunting down these judges and ripping their skulls and spines from their bodies predator style.

Re:denying all these devices (1, Insightful)

Runaway1956 (1322357) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137440)

What I think is, you watch to many of those moronic movies. Game starved youths? WTF? Did you seriously mean what you typed? Let's face it - any "game starved youths" that you might meet are totally incapable of interacting with the power brokers of the world in any meaningful way. In your little scenario, those youths would just become a blip on police statistics charts. NYT headline reads, "Three more demented kids shot dead while trying to break into corporate offices in Manhattan."

Re:denying all these devices (1)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138024)

Woah. Calm down cowboy.

Since you seem unaware, I don't believe people will literally tear out skulls and spines. If you are always this humorless, your life will be pretty grim.

Re:denying all these devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138458)

What I think is, you watch to many of those moronic movies. Game starved youths? WTF? Did you seriously mean what you typed? Let's face it - any "game starved youths" that you might meet are totally incapable of interacting with the power brokers of the world in any meaningful way. In your little scenario, those youths would just become a blip on police statistics charts. NYT headline reads, "Three more demented kids shot dead while trying to break into corporate offices in Manhattan."

Woooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooosh

Re:denying all these devices (1)

Revek (133289) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137454)

Maybe they would mow the lawn or get off it at least.

Re:denying all these devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137686)

Yeah, because they've already demonstrated themselves to be soooooo reactionary already.

Re:denying all these devices (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35138338)

>I guess that it'd not take long before all these tech companies start to lobby against flacky patents and the associated lawsuits...

Wrong.

Large, slow corporations NEED patents. Patents help ensure that your only competition is other large corporations. Without broad patents, they would be completely vulnerable to small and medium sized startups with fresh ideas.

They'll figure out each other's pain threshold and settle... but giving up broad patent powers would cause their shareholders to SUE their respective companies into oblivion.

Patents... (1)

Haedrian (1676506) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137204)

Driving Innovation Forward.

Since Sarcastic O'Clock.

Re:Patents... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137596)

At first I've read "Darwin Innovation Award" and thought "Well, it's about time to give such an award to Sony for it's suicidal "innovations", that's true"

How timely. (1)

jbplou (732414) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137248)

LG jumped right on those infringements didn't they? Because the PS3 is a brand new product.

Re:How timely. (2)

Svartalf (2997) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137364)

This is in response to a similar style of lawsuit Sony did to them over something in their phones that's been there for a bit. As someone pointed out, they're very likely both violating each others' patents in the manner the suits allege- it's just Sony showed the poor form of suing them instead of working out a deal with them first. But then, Sony's been showing poor/bad form for a while now in my not so humble opinion...things like asking for the people that viewed the jailbreak video GeoHotz put up on a private channel's a bit over the top and nothing that they really ought to be asking for.

Re:How timely. (1)

JBMcB (73720) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137444)

To be fair, Sony only really started touting the PS3 as a blu-ray player with that spokesman guy they have fairly recently. And, since LG executives apparently get all their information through television, they've been in the dark about this capability until now.

how about? (1)

ace418 (1011823) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137310)

How about we dress their lawyers in suits of armor and let them fight to the death in gladiatorial combat, winner takes all!!! At least it would be more entertaining than all these pointless legal lawsuits that always end in transferring of "shut the hell up" money from side to the other.

Better (1)

fnj (64210) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137756)

How about we dress their lawyers in suits of armor and let them fight to the death in gladiatorial combat, winner takes all!!! At least it would be more entertaining than all these pointless legal lawsuits that always end in transferring of "shut the hell up" money from side to the other.

No armor! Send them out into the arena naked and unarmed and have lions rip them all apart.

Re:Better (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138164)

Why would you do that to the poor things?

I mean, the lions would get gippy tummies from eating a bunch of miseryshit lawyers.

Scenes from an interview at a high tech company (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137314)

Interviewer: "So what do you want to do here at our company?"

Interviewee: "I want to develop innovative products!"

Interviewer: "Sorry, we're looking for someone to help sue our competition. And any other company that we don't like, as well. Even if they aren't competition."

With all these lawsuits, instead of stories about who is suing who, it would be easier to report on which companies is not being sued:

"Hey, we found one! Company XXX is not being sued this week by anyone! Amazing!"

Re:Scenes from an interview at a high tech company (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137404)

Normally, I'd be preaching right alongside you, but in this case, I'm willing to make an exception, and back LG.
SONY doesn't belong in a free market, and it would appear LG understands this. Even if they are not successful, I know that LG has just climbed to the top of my list next time I need to look for a piece of tech.

Re:Scenes from an interview at a high tech company (1)

0123456 (636235) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137970)

Even if they are not successful, I know that LG has just climbed to the top of my list next time I need to look for a piece of tech.

My LG Blu-Ray player stopped working after six months and has been in for warranty repairs for about nine months (about six months ago they said they couldn't fix it and would get me a replacement); so you might want to reconsider that.

Sad Lesson (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#35137464)

The only meaningful thing I've learnt from all this nonsense is that lawyers are smarter than tech companies :(.

Just goes to show... (4, Interesting)

Stenchwarrior (1335051) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137500)

...school-yard fights and juvenile conflicts don't change when you get older...they just cost more and the bullies wear Armani.

LG staying out of Bly Ray Patent Pool? (1)

guidryp (702488) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137626)

So does this mean LG plans to stay out of the Blu Ray pool and sue everyone making Blu Ray drives?
http://www.one-blue.com/patent-coverage/ [one-blue.com]

Serendipity (1)

SethThresher (1958152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137988)

I think I'll just leave this here, it just seems strangely appropriate:

http://maps.google.com/maps?hl=en&t=k&ll=34.015137,-118.791438&z=17 [google.com]

Re:Serendipity (1)

SethThresher (1958152) | more than 3 years ago | (#35137998)

^Nevermind, wrong story. So much PS3 news right now, amirite?

scum (1)

Quiet_Desperation (858215) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138134)

It's like little kids squabbling on a playground.

Irony (1)

AJH16 (940784) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138226)

Am I the only one that finds it horribly ironic that this showed up on my RSS feed immediately after a /. post about Sony going after the people that found the root keys for their PS3? Sony goes on law suit rampage over PS3 root key leak. Sony sued for violating LG patents in PS3. Classy.

This is surprising, how? (2)

revlayle (964221) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138230)

SO, this is all business as usual in the technology industry, right?

I though streaming solved all this? (1)

mnslinky (1105103) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138394)

Does any of this really matter? Doesn't Netflix streaming solve most of this stuff? Hell, since their streaming service started having decent content, we haven't purchased a DVD. For those titles that aren't available to stream, they send us a DVD, but even that is likely to go away sooner than later.

And consumers pay for it (1)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 3 years ago | (#35138498)

All of the billions of dollars spent on patent litigation every year come out of our pockets...

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