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1 August 2011

LG Electronics Inc v Sony Europe Ltd, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc and Sony Corporation

LG Electronics Inc v Sony Europe Ltd, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc and Sony Corporation

On Wednesday 27 July, in the case of LG Electronics Inc v Sony Europe Ltd, Sony Computer Entertainment Europe Ltd, Sony Computer Entertainment Inc and Sony Corporation, Mr Justice Arnold issued a summary judgement that, if followed at trial, could mean Standards become prior art.

In this case, LG sued Sony for alleged infringement of 3 Blu-Ray patents. Part of Sony’s defence was that the patents were invalid in view of the DVD specification for Read-Only discs which was available to the public in 1997. LG, however, contended that this document was not prior art because it was held by a Standards Body (DVD Format Logo Licensing Corporation) and that to access this document, a Non-Disclosure Agreement had to be signed and a fee paid.

Although Mr Justice Arnold accepted that Standards are confidential, he also accepted that it was a not unrealistic possibility that manufacturers have an opportunity to gain knowledge of the contents of that document and use that information for their own purposes.

An article about the possible implications of the summary judgment will follow.

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