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Daily News

Complaint Filed Against DVD Patent Pool
Dec 28, 2004
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Law firm Handal & Associates has filed an amendment to its U.S. class action lawsuit against the 3C Patent Group consisting of Sony Corporation, Philips Electronics, and Pioneer Corporation.

The amended complaint adds LG Electronics of South Korea and several new claims related to antitrust activities. LG became the fourth member of the 3C Group in 2002 by adding patents from its portfolio to the 3C DVD Group.

The amended complaint states seven causes of action against the members of the 3C DVD Patent Group including: price fixing, unlawful tying, group boycott, and conspiracy to monopolize in violation of Sections 1 and 2 of the Sherman Act; a request for a judicial declaration that the patents in the 3C DVD Patent pool are invalid; and two claims for violations of the California Unfair Competition Law.

"We see these violations of the law as a concerted effort to control the DVD player market resulting in higher prices and fewer products," said Anton Handal, lead attorney. "It is the consumer that ultimately ends up paying for these unlawful acts and 3C must change its philosophy away from licensing manufacturers."

The plaintiffs, Wuxi Multimedia and Orient Power (Wuxi) Digital Technology Ltd, are Chinese based manufactures of DVD products and have been adversely affected by the acts of the 3D Patent Pool.

Wuxi Multimedia, having been refused a license, seeks a judicial declaration that all of the patents in the 3C pool are invalid under the doctrine of patent misuse. Orient Power (Wuxi) Digital Technology Ltd, currently a 3C DVD Patent Pool licensee, is seeking a refund, on behalf of itself and all other companies in the class, of all DVD player royalties collected by the 3C DVD group. The plaintiffs seek a tripling of the damage, as allowed by law.

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