AfterDawn: Tech news

ITC to probe Sony Blu-ray patents

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 21 Mar 2008 18:41 User comments (19)

ITC to probe Sony Blu-ray patents The U.S. International Trade Commission has announced that it will be investigating possible patent infringements related to Blu-ray players and peripherals, and that Sony was one of 30 companies that are included in the probe.
The probe began because of a complaint filed in February by Columbia University Professor Emeritus Gertrude Neumark Rothschild who claims that short-wavelength light-emitting diodes and laser diodes used in Blu-ray players infringe her patent.

Other notable companies besides Sony in the investigation are Nokia, Motorola Inc, LG Electronics Inc, and Panasonic maker Matsushita Electric Industrial.

Sony spokespeople refused comment as the investigation is ongoing. We will keep you updated.


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19 user comments

121.3.2008 19:15

Don't get your hopes up HD-DVD camp. There won't be a revival. If anything does happen, a pay-off or a deal will be struck.

But I will tell you one thing, if there is one then I will die laughing.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 21 Mar 2008 @ 19:23

221.3.2008 19:55

DVDBack: You forgot to mention that anyone who used a blue-laser diode was named in the lawsuit. SO Toshiba and the technology behind HD DVD was also named in the lawsuit.

http://www.betanews.com/article/Columbia...tion/1206132536

Quote:
With a few victories already under her belt, a celebrated physicist seeks to leverage those wins in a contest to reclaim her legacy. The other side of the story is that everything with a blue laser diode in it has just come under suspicion.

A fifty-six-year veteran physicist who is currently Columbia University's Howe Professor Emerita of Materials Science and Engineering, will have her patent infringement case heard by the US International Trade Commission. If Judge Paul J. Luckern concurs, an injunction could be placed on the import of all electronics containing blue-laser diodes manufactured using a certain patented process.

Prof. Gertrude F. Neumark Rothschild filed suit in February against some 30 of the world's principal consumer electronics manufacturers, including Sony, Toshiba, LG, Lite-On, Matsushita, Hitachi, Motorola, Nokia, Pioneer, Samsung, Sanyo, Sony Ericsson, and Sharp. Her claim is that all these companies produce blue-laser diodes using a particular semiconductor manufacturing process, whose patent she applied for in 1988 and received in 1993.

That particular process, she claims, is actually the only one there is for making reliable blue-laser diodes; and the implication of her suit is that corporations simply adopted that process as though it were in the public domain, perhaps because they thought its discovery in a university made it public -- a common misconception.

Contrary to reports, the professor is no "little old lady," nor is she some patent troll acting on behalf of long-forgotten interests. In fact, Prof. Rothschild (nee Prof. Neumark) is a formidable adversary who already won several battles in an effort to reclaim what she sees as her long-overdue royalties. Her previous volley of infringement suits was launched in 2002 against semiconductor producers Philips Lumileds, Cree, and Toyoda Gosei, for infringing against this same battery of patents. Toyoda Gosei settled out of court in August 2006 for an unspecified amount; Philips Lumileds settled with her just two weeks ago.

The professor's attorneys describe her as no less than the inventor of the blue-laser diode, and her patent makes a convincing case that the moniker may be deserved. A blue-laser diode is a type of semiconductor which produces light at given frequencies. It does this by exciting electrons in the stream so much that they lose energy as they leap over what's literally called a "wide gap." The distance of that gap helps determine the frequency of the emitted light, though to get those electrons excited just right, the semiconductor has to be doped with just the right impurities.

In patent number 5,252,499, "Wide band-gap semiconductors having low bipolar resistivity and method of formation," which credits Prof. Rothschild as the sole inventor on behalf of herself, a set of those impurities is listed. Among them is gallium nitride (GaN), and her patent describes how this and a few other candidates can be introduced into the n-type side of the semiconductor. That alone would create undesirable results, so her process goes on further to explain how the introduction of atomic hydrogen on the p-type side would neutralize the undesired effects, enabling the desired state of low bipolar resistivity.

Evidently, hers could be the process by which low resistivity is typically attained.

It could be a very long battle, but the professor appears experienced in such matters. A multitude of Japanese and German patents on gallium nitride-based semiconductors to which Prof. Rothschild did not contribute, may get called into question under new federal law regarding the novelty of inventions that appear to be upgrades to existing, older patents. Those patents have been the basis of Rothschild's previous defendants' defense...but those defendants settled.

If the investigation launched by USITC Judge Luckern finds that any or all 30 companies used Prof. Rothschild's methods without proper attribution or royalty, and that they're in violation of the dreaded Section 337 of the Tariff Act, the victors in the last format war may find themselves answering to a very distraught customer base.

322.3.2008 1:07
vinny13
Inactive

Blah Blah Blah... What else is new?

422.3.2008 4:44

Jeesus really, it look like every american have some kind off patent, Who nows maybe she can win.;D The land off lawsuits.;)

522.3.2008 10:34

would this really mean anything for blu-ray, other than the fact that the companies behind it could lose money through the lawsuit?

622.3.2008 10:44

It means everyone gets sued...and someone will lose cash.

More breaking news....you can't avoid taxes or death....

722.3.2008 13:29

Here are the outcomes I see for this scenario:

1. Sony, due to it being a big corp., will win in court even though they (and all the other companies) should lose.

2. The companies, either individually or as a group, will pay off the lady out of court.

3. The lady will get X amount, either a percent or a specific dollar amount, of every Blu or HD DVD player sold.

EDITED by Pop_Smith

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 23 Mar 2008 @ 1:39

822.3.2008 13:35

Originally posted by Pop_Smith:
3. The lady will get X amount, either a percent or a specific dollar amount, of every Blu player sold.
Since Toshiba and HD DVD used the same blue-laser diode then you should include each HD DVD player sold. In fact Toshiba has been named in the investigation/lawsuit.

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922.3.2008 22:40

NO KIDDING!
Toshiba was saying this all along.
It's all about the bribes.
Sony had the most cash, so they won.
They won with inferior, crappy, broken incompatible technology, mostly because people are utterly stupid about quality.
"Duh, it play on my game console. It good. Screw everybody else. Duh."

1022.3.2008 23:01

Quote:
Since Toshiba and HD DVD used the same blue-laser diode then you should include each HD DVD player sold. In fact Toshiba has been named in the investigation/lawsuit.



Um no it Didnt it was Red Short-wave Laser Wave lengh is a bit larger Then blu-Rays

1122.3.2008 23:19

So professer Let me get this strate This was patented in 1994. yeah Right Sure Miss Nazi of the year.

She wont win. Nor will she get any royalty's.

oh and professor you cant patent idea's so unless you made a working Device using such technology. you can forget about it.

you know whats pisses me of the most. they Patent Somthing and sit on it years and years untill somebody finnaly decides to inprove upon somthing then they cant, because Some woman ive never Heard of claim's oh Thats my idea yeah with the P adams and Nitro-gen LAser windsheild blaster.

Quote:
If the investigation launched by USITC Judge Luckern finds that any or all 30 companies used Prof. Rothschild's methods without proper attribution or royalty, and that they're in violation of the dreaded Section 337 of the Tariff Act, the victors in the last format war may find themselves answering to a very distraught customer base.
No they wont. Judge Luckern ,No they wont.

1223.3.2008 1:11

Quote:
Quote:
Since Toshiba and HD DVD used the same blue-laser diode then you should include each HD DVD player sold. In fact Toshiba has been named in the investigation/lawsuit.



Um no it Didnt it was Red Short-wave Laser Wave lengh is a bit larger Then blu-Rays
Incorrect, HD DVD also used blue laser. Toshiba and its group also wanted to pursue is own blue laser high definition solution and HD DVD was the result. The smaller more compact HD DVD players use both a red and blue laser.

1323.3.2008 1:38

Originally posted by error5:
Since Toshiba and HD DVD used the same blue-laser diode then you should include each HD DVD player sold. In fact Toshiba has been named in the investigation/lawsuit.
Ah, touché.

1423.3.2008 2:16
dblbogey7
Inactive

Originally posted by DXR88:

Um no it Didnt it was Red Short-wave Laser Wave lengh is a bit larger Then blu-Rays
error5 is correct. Both HD DVD and BluRay utilize a blue-laser diode:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/11/27/...er_tech_chosen/

Quote:
The DVD Forum, the industry body responsible for defining and maintaining the DVD standard, has approved Toshiba and NEC's suggestion for a version of the format that will support HDTV.

The proposed specification is based on a blue laser optical system, yielding a disc capacity of 15-20GB per side.
In fact, when there was a shortage of blue-laser diodes both HD DVD and BluRay player manufacturing were affected:

http://gizmodo.com/gadgets/home-entertai...ound-197639.php

Quote:

HD DVD and Blu-ray Trouble: Not Enough Blue Diodes to Go Around

Things are looking dicey for both HD DVD and Blu-ray, because a key component has suddenly become scarce: blue laser diode yield rates are only 30% according to Nichia, a company responsible for 80% of the blue laser diode supply. The diodes are used in both HD DVD and Blu-ray players, and the shortfall will severely limit the number of players that can be shipped.

Hence, Toshiba is also named in the investigation.

1523.3.2008 9:33

So i was wrong, Who cares.

if they have to pay this Woman (thats the friendly verson) you know how much licensing will go up jesus blu-ray is already pricy enough.

i dont think she will win, but if she does it will lead to the demise of optical Hd Media. No buddy is going to buy a Blu-ray game for 80.00 USD, No buddys going to buy 40-50 dollar Blu-ray movie.

I have seen were Sony has forced its loses on the consumer multiable times,and not just Sony. Microsoft has a background of it too.

Quote:
Contrary to reports, the professor is no "little old lady," nor is she some patent troll acting on behalf of long-forgotten interests. In fact, Prof. Rothschild (nee Prof. Neumark) is a formidable adversary who already won several battles in an effort to reclaim what she sees as her long-overdue royalties. Her previous volley of infringement suits was launched in 2002 against semiconductor producers Philips Lumileds, Cree, and Toyoda Gosei, for infringing against this same battery of patents. Toyoda Gosei settled out of court in August 2006 for an unspecified amount; Philips Lumileds settled with her just two weeks ago.
this statement is so contadicting it makes my head hurt, she's not a troll But she launched a volley of infringement suits.

i think Miss Zieghiel Needs a new dictionary. cause she obviosly does not know What the Word Volley or troll mean. ether that or a new Gustappo

1623.3.2008 14:21

DXR88, knockoff those derogatory comments about that professor because you are now dealing with me, understood!! having or getting a patent does not mean you have to make the product. in her case she most likely did to know that atomic hydogen had to be added to make the laser work properly.

1723.3.2008 15:31

Quote:
this statement is so contadicting it makes my head hurt, she's not a troll But she launched a volley of infringement suits.
mmm... i dont think its contradicting. But off course you know what contradiction means, right?

also, patents are the only thing that keeps corporations from stealing smart people, who devote their lifes to a little thing called "research", i know, it might sound funny to you that some people work all day researching.

1823.3.2008 16:10

Whatever you say....

1923.3.2008 16:19

Quote:
ddp-DXR88, knockoff those derogatory comments about that professor because you are now dealing with me, understood!! having or getting a patent does not mean you have to make the product. in her case she most likely did to know that atomic hydogen had to be added to make the laser work properly.
Hehe. sure, right away. i did go a little over board on that last post.

this will be my last post in this thread.

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