Sony has won the high-definition format war by backing the Blu-ray standard. Toshiba ran up the white flag over their rival HD DVD format, and things seemed settled. Not so fast. Professor Emerita Gertrude Neumark Rothschild of Columbia University told the US International Trade Commission that she believes she holds not only the patent on the Blu-ray laser, but a host of short-wavelength LED designs as well. She's filed a complaint against Sony and 30 or so companies for all sorts of devices that use the technologies.
The complaint alleges violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in the importation into the United States of certain short-wavelength light emitting diodes, laser diodes, and products containing same that infringe a patent owned by Rothschild. The complainant requests that the ITC issue exclusion orders and cease and desist orders.
The US ITC has published the complete list of the 30 companies involved in this issue and names like Sony, Nokia, Samsung, LG, LiteOn, Pioneer and Toshiba were listed.
The complaint's no joke; the ITC has announced that her claim has enough merit to warrant investigating it, and the ITC has the power to ban importation of the devices in question until the matter is settled. Gentlemen, start your lawyers. And they better be good; Gertrude's already agreed to a settlement from Phillips Lumileds for infringing on her two patents.