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Patent dispute may block Blu-ray, cellphones

updated 08:35 am EDT, Fri March 21, 2008

ITC Patent Dispute

A patent infringement claim may lead to blocks against importing both Blu-ray technology as well as cellphones and other storage, the US International Trade Commission said today. The potential impasse has its roots in a complaint by patent holder and Columbia University emeritus professor Gertrude Rothschild, who claims that bringing numerous foreign-made devices with short-wave lasers and LEDs violates her own claims to the technology in the US. Most companies affected by the dispute are those producing Blu-ray optical storage drives and involve chief backer Sony as well as LG, Pioneer, Samsung, and Sharp.

Toshiba is also implicated for the blue laser in its HD DVD players, though the end of the format reduces the impact of the complaint on its business.

However, the suit also implicates multiple cellphone makers and may complicate the sale of cellphones in the country. Motorola, Nokia, and Sony-Ericsson are directly implicated in the complaint, which may also affect LG and other firms that produce both handsets as well as HD video readers. Calls to restrict part suppliers, such as optical drive maker Lite-On, may also impact third-party computer and general electronics firms.

The ITC has not said when it expects to hold an evidence hearing regarding Rothschild's complaint but says it will set an end date for the investigatino within the next 45 days. A successful ban on importing the devices would take effect within 60 days of a ruling.

By Electronista Staff


  1. BelugaShark

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007



    ... great! what're they upto now?

  1. sixcolors

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Oct 2001



    s******* everyone over for personal profit. Rothschilds do that all the time.

  1. Jonaziz

    Junior Member

    Joined: Jul 2006


    re: not true with macs

    The fact isn't about Apple or PC makers putting software on with the computer, it's the overloading of the desktop and launch items with performance damaging garbage. I don't think MS Office, GraphicConverter, OminiGraffle, or QuickBooks qualify as 'craplets'.

  1. Deal

    Mac Enthusiast

    Joined: Apr 2001


    This is ridiculous

    A patent on a laser diode? Give me a break... How do they have a patent on emitting a particular wavelength of light? Lasers are used in all kinds of devices today.

    The whole reason these rich politically radical activists are suing is to get more money to push their political agenda (so they don't have to spend their own money).

    Do a google on the name and you'll find out which political party they are a radical member of—not that you have to think too hard to figure THAT out.

    They could care less if they hurt people or the country, as long as they get massive funds (from somewhere other than their own pockets) to whoever is pushing their ideas on and against the majority.

    —on the other hand... Sony is not my favorite company :)

  1. Super Glitcher

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Aug 2003



    what's an investigatino?

  1. testudo

    Forum Regular

    Joined: Aug 2001


    completely unfair!

    Since we all know Sony will allow anyone to make a blu-ray device without paying royalties or anything!

  1. Feathers

    Grizzled Veteran

    Joined: Oct 1999


    too young...

    I think elroth is too young to remember getting the likes of Omnigraffle, Appleworks, GraphicConverter and other free applications (they weren't demos) and just because testiculo didn't use them doesn't mean they weren't useable. I've used them all.

  1. danviento

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2005


    pimping dell, are we?

    Dell is a box maker. Plain and simple (in more ways that one). These recent attempts to make "comparable" PCs to Mac specs always come up short on the design side, and always end up costing more.

    You can attempt to compare dell attempts like these to the "originals," but they never measure up, even if you don't consider the OSX-Windoze gulf.

    No, we all know that MacNN (electronista, whatev) puts up the inflamatory headlines like these to garner eyeballs. As far as a dell attempt, they seem to have put more effort into it this time 'round.

  1. smezjj

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Dec 2001



    OK 'Deal'... your entire post is completely unfounded. I don't know who you think Gertrude Rothschild is, but if you look up her past political contributions they have been to the bleeding heart hippy socialist liberal democrats. I am so tired of every swinging d*** attempting to make a political connection to everything all the time.

  1. csimon2

    Junior Member

    Joined: Aug 2000



    how this supposedly would affect HD DVD as well. HD DVD uses the same wavelength as standard DVD. So why does it take almost 15 years to file a lawsuit?

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