Sony’s PlayStation 3 has experienced a huge problem with sales ever since its release in late 2006. Just when things were starting to look up with the price cut on the PS3 and the widespread backing of Blu-ray technology, the PS3 has managed to get itself in a bind again. U.S. company Parallel Processing has filed a lawsuit against Sony on the basis of a patent infringement. PS3s are fitted with IBM-built Cell processors, which Parallel Processing contends infringes on its October of 1991 hardware patent, “Synchronized Parallel Processing with Shared Memory.”
“The patent explains how new processor architecture could break a program ‘into smaller concurrent processes running in different parallel processors,’ and then resynchronize them. This would make processing times much quicker.”
“‘On information and belief, Defendant Sony Corporation of America has infringed and continues to infringe on the '000 Patent by making, using, importing, offering for sale and/or selling products among other things, covered by one or more claims of the '000 Patent, including, but not limited to, Sony Playstation 3,’ states Parallel Processing in the lawsuit.”
Parallel Processing has declared that Sony’s infringement has “caused it irreparable harm and monetary damage.” Parallel Processing’s demands are that all PS3 consoles that incorporate the Cell processor (all of them), be recalled and neutralized. It is also demanding an apology, and, of course, monetary reimbursement for its loss. While it is unlikely that Sony will be forced to give in to the demands, the complaint is a big one and worth keeping an eye on.