U.S. trade body to probe Sony

TOKYO Fri Mar 21, 2008 4:42am EDT

A shopper walks past a Blu-ray Disc logo at a store in Tokyo, February 18, 2008. The U.S. International Trade Commission said it would launch an investigation into some 30 companies including Sony Corp <6758.T> on possible patent infringements related to Blu-ray disc players and other products. REUTERS/Issei Kato

A shopper walks past a Blu-ray Disc logo at a store in Tokyo, February 18, 2008. The U.S. International Trade Commission said it would launch an investigation into some 30 companies including Sony Corp <6758.T> on possible patent infringements related to Blu-ray disc players and other products.

Credit: Reuters/Issei Kato

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TOKYO (Reuters) - The U.S. International Trade Commission said it would launch an investigation into some 30 companies including Sony Corp (6758.T) on possible patent infringements related to Blu-ray disc players and other products.

The commission said on its Web site on Thursday that the products involved are short-wavelength light-emitting diodes and laser diodes used in such electronics as handheld mobile devices, traffic lights and high-definition DVD players.

The move is based on a complaint filed in February by Columbia University Professor Emeritus Gertrude Neumark Rothschild, who is seeking to block imports into the United States of a range of products that she said were infringing her patent.

Besides Sony, companies cited in the ITC announcement include Nokia (NOK1V.HE), Motorola Inc MOT.N, LG Electronics Inc (066570.KS), and Panasonic maker Matsushita Electric Industrial Co Ltd (6752.T).

A Sony spokesman said the consumer electronics maker could not as the investigation is ongoing.

(Reporting by Kiyoshi Takenaka)

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