According to a report by consumer website GameSpot, Pennsylvanian electronics company Agere Systems has filed a lawsuit against Sony for alleged infringement of eight of its semiconductor patents.
The patents involve not just the PlayStation 2, PlayStation 3 and PSP, but also Sony VAIO laptops, Handycams, Walkman, Memory Stick Duos and Location Free TV. Agere lawyers claim that Sony was fully aware of the infringements, and as a result, has asked that damages be increased by as much as 300 percent.
The wide-ranging patents in question run from a "wireless local area network apparatus" to "barrier layer treatments for tungsten plug", according to the GameSpot report, and again exemplify the ability that broad technical patents give for costly litigation.
Sony’s defense lawyers claim that not only are the patents invalid, but that it already has the rights to use seven of the eight through a prior deal with AT&T and Lucent – the latter of which was the parent company of Agere Systems. As a result of Sony’s counterclaims, Agere lawyers have asked for a full jury trial.
As a high-profile target, Sony is often targeted in patent-related suits, and has previously lost an initial ruling on one notable patent dispute with Immersion, involving a number of force feedback patents. But there is no indication on whether this dispute will be as long or drawn-out as Immersion's.