Sony sues to block LG from shipping phones to U.S.

NEW YORK Thu Dec 30, 2010 8:12am EST

A show attendee passes by the LG Electronics booth during the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 9, 2009. REUTERS/Steve Marcus

A show attendee passes by the LG Electronics booth during the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada January 9, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Steve Marcus

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Sony Corp has filed a patent infringement complaint seeking to block LG Electronics Inc from shipping smartphones such as its Rumor 2 model to the United States.

In a filing late Wednesday with the U.S. International Trade Commission, Sony said LG violated U.S. trade rules by importing mobile phones and modems that infringed Sony patents.

Sony said LG also infringed patents of some of its licensees, including its Sony Ericsson joint venture, Samsung and Nokia.

The company filed a related complaint with the federal court in Los Angeles, court records show. A copy of that complaint was not immediately available.

LG spokesman John Taylor said in an email that it is company policy not to discuss pending litigation.

Sony said the patent infringement relates to more than 10 phones including the Encore, LG Accolade, Neon, Quantum, Rumor Touch and others.

The patents in the suit involve audio and microphone devices in phones, caller ID technology and transmission power.

LG, South Korea's fourth-largest conglomerate, this month said it is trying to expand its major businesses, including smartphones, and on Tuesday said it wants to raise 2011 sales by 11 percent to 156 trillion won ($135 billion).

Since October, LG has sold 2 million units of the Optimus One smartphone, its most popular smartphone model to date.

Sony reported an operating profit of 68.7 billion yen ($847 million) in the three months ended September 30, reversing a loss the previous year.

The ITC case is In re: Certain Mobile Phones and Modems, U.S. International Trade Commission, No. 337-TA. 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.

(Reporting by Liana B. Baker; Editing by Phil Berlowitz)

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Comments (4)
Is this the new standard operating procedure in the U.S.? If you don’t buy from me I’ll sue you??

Dec 30, 2010 1:25am EST  --  Report as abuse
socratesfoot wrote:
Said it once, said it a million times. We need to stop companies from using these patents to indefinitely suspend innovation on competing products and limit normal competition. Patent law is not only broken, it’s become grossly anti-competitive, and if you have a patent on something, it should have some mode of expiration based on the lifespan and turn over of similar products and concepts in that field. If the technology is patented and the owner can not show they are actively using the technology, the patent should be void.

Dec 30, 2010 9:19am EST  --  Report as abuse
raylopez99 wrote:
There’s nothing wrong with our patent laws. What’s wrong is the application of them: not enough technically savvy people applying our existing patent laws.

Dec 30, 2010 9:39am EST  --  Report as abuse
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