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Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Nintendo, Apple, Sony Sued For Patent Infringement


Products from Apple, Sony and Nintendo are the target of a new patent infringement lawsuit by Shared Memory Graphics LLC, according to a lawsuit filed last Thusday at the Arkansas Western District Court.

Shared Memory Graphics LLC alleges Apple iPods and iPod Touch music and video players, Nintendo's motion-controlled Wii and Sony PSP and PS2. The company claims that these products ingringe the U.S. Patent No. 5,712,664 that describes a "shared memory graphics accelerator system."

According to the patent, a shared memory graphics accelerator system provides graphics display data to a display. It includes a central processing unit for generating graphics display data and graphics commands for processing the display data. An integrated graphics display memory element includes both a graphics accelerator connected to receive display data and graphics commands from the central processing unit and an on-chip frame buffer memory element. The on-chip frame buffer memory element is connected to receive display data from the graphics accelerator via a display data distribution bus. An off-chip frame buffer memory element is also connected to the display data distribution bus to receive display data from the graphics accelerator. The graphics accelerator selectively distributes display data to the on-chip frame buffer memory element and to the off-chip frame buffer memory element based on predetermined display data distribution criteria.

The technology initially was patented by Alliance Semiconductor, although it was eventually sold to a holding company. Shared Memory Graphics was formed just last month and received rights to both patents.

The attorneys accuse Apple of infringing on the patent by using the related technology in the iPhone and iPod touch. Defendants also include Nintendo of America Inc., Nintendo Co. LTD., Sony Corporation of America, Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc., Sony Corporation Sony Computer Entertainment Inc., and Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corporation, LTD.


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