Sony gets $18.5M wrist slap for PSP patent infringement
By Joel Hruska | Published: November 21, 2008 - 06:15AM CT
The patent dispute between Agere Systems (now a part of LSI Electronics) and Sony came to an end today, with Agere emerging as the victor. Sony must now cough up $18.5 million as a penalty for infringing upon an Agere patent, 5,670,730 (hereafter referred to as the '730 patent.) When Agere sued Sony for patent infringement in March of 2006, it alleged that the larger company had violated eight of its patents, and demanded compensation for all of them.
Sony was cleared of infringement in seven of the eight patents, due to a prior licensing agreement with Agere's former owner, Lucent Technologies. The case then continued with '730 as the sole remaining patent in question. According to its abstract, '730 is a patent covering "A protocol for labeling various types of data contained in a music chip." That's the type of broad description that makes us grind our teeth here in the Orbiting HQ, but in this case, we're in luck. 'The patent's abstract goes into extensive detail on what type of protocol and labeling system is covered.
A global header located at the very start of memory will specify information needed to successfully decode the content of the music chip. This will include...the necessary bit rate, as well as information pertaining to a specific PAC (Perceptual Audio Coding) algorithm employed in recording audio...each chip will have a section of memory allocated to a table of contents...[which] will include information on play times, song titles, music category and artist...Information from the headers is self-registered or automatically downloaded when a chip is loaded into a player/juke box device. The concept of self-registering general information included within the headers allows a user to select by type of music, artist, etc. for music selections made over a period of time. In addition, the present invention provides a method...