MicroUnity, Sony reach settlement in patent suit

Marilyn Tennissen Dec. 13, 2007, 12:14am

California company MicroUnity Systems recently reached a settlement in a patent infringement case against Sony over technology used in PlayStation systems.

U.S. District Judge T. John Ward issued the undisclosed judgment on Dec. 12.

MicroUnity filed its original patent infringement claim against Sony Corporation of America and Sony Computer Entertainment America Inc. on Nov. 2, 2005, in the Marshall Division of the Eastern District of Texas.

In its original complaint, MicroUnity listed almost a dozen patents that were being infringed by Sony in its PlayStation2 and PlayStation Portable systems. The patents generally covered programmable media processors with multiple precision parallel operation.

MicroUnity was seeking enhanced damages, interest, fees, costs and other relief. Lead counsel for the plaintiff was Stephen Susman of Susman Godfrey in Houston.

Sony launched an affirmative defense and counterclaim that at least some of the claims of the patents were invalid and unenforceable for failing to meet federal regulations.

"Seven of the 10 asserted patents are currently under reexamination proceedings at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office because there are substantial new questions of patentability," wrote Tyler attorney Melvin Wilcox for Sony in February 2006.

Sony also alleged that some of the people involved in the prosecution of the patents may have withheld reference information from the Trademark and Patent Office.

In some instances, Sony alleged that MicroUnity disclosed a cover sheet but withheld a spec sheet for the Micron Semiconductor that disclosed data transfer command concepts.

The case was related to and involved some of the same patents in a previous case in the Marshall Division by MicroUnity against Intel and Dell (2:04-cv-120).

Case No. 2:05-cv-505-TJW

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