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Tuesday, December 16, 2003
Decision on Philips CD-R/RW patents unlikely to be reversed


GigaStorage and Princo, the two Taiwanese makers accused by Philips Electronics of infringing on six CD-R/CD-RW patents, think the US International Trade Commission (ITC) would not reverse the October 24 findings of a US administrative law judge.

Philips US alleged that the two Taiwanese companies had infringed on six patents held by Philips regarding CD-R and CD-RW drive manufacturing technology. A US administrative law judge on October 24 decided that the patents were valid and infringed upon but not enforceable due to patent misuse.

In response to a request from Philips, the ITC on December 11 announced that it would conduct a review, with a final decision to be reached in February or March.

According to Eddie Fong, general manager of the Taiwan office of Philips Intellectual Property & Standards, the ITC’s review means that it will specifically re-examine the patent misuse by Philips. In the meantime, Philips will maintain its licensing policies to protect the interests of the CD-R/CD-RW drive makers that pay royalties to the company.

However, GigaStorage and Princo interpret the ITC review in a different way. Misuse is use of a patent right beyond the lawful scope rather than simply mistaken use of the right and therefore the owner is not entitled to enforce the patent or recover any damage for infringement, the two companies argued. Philips has the right to express its dissent to the judgment by asking for a review by the ITC, but this is not a substantial re-examination, the two companies emphasized. Based on precedents, it is unlikely that a result of a two-year process would be reversed after a two-month review, the two companies pointed out.


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