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Monday, March 28, 2005
Sony ordered to pay $90 million, halt game sales

Sony has been ordered by a U.S. court to pay about $90 million in damages and to halt game console sales in the United States in a patent infringement case against Immersion.

Sony Computer Entertainment said it disagreed with the decision by a federal district court in California and would appeal to a higher court.

SCE said it will continue U.S. sales as the suspension order--which covers PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles, two game controllers and 47 software titles--will not go into effect before the appeal and because Sony will be paying compulsory license fees to Immersion, an SCE spokeswoman said.

Immersion, a San Jose, Calif.-based developer of tactile feedback technology, claimed Sony Computer Entertainment infringed on its technologies that make a game controller vibrate in sync with actions in games, the Japanese game maker said.

The court's decision confirmed a ruling by a California jury last year that ordered Sony to pay $82 million in the case. The amount was raised to slightly more than $90 million due to interest.

In another intellectual property-related lawsuit between Japanese and U.S. technology companies, Toshiba was ordered by a California jury last week to pay a total of $465 million in punitive and other damages to Lexar Media for stealing trade secrets.

Toshiba, the world's seventh-largest chipmaker, suggested it would appeal the decision.


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