Sony’s Blu-Ray Patent Group Sues Imation Over Blank Discs

Sony Corp. (6758) and three other companies that helped invent Blu-Ray movie discs sued Imation Corp. (IMN), claiming the data-storage company broke patent laws by selling blank, recordable versions of the discs.

Imation violated several patents related to Blu-Ray technology, which allows a sharper picture than traditional DVD movie discs, Sony and the other consumer electronics makers said in a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Delaware.

Selling packages of blank Blu-Ray discs with the official logo, violates the patents, and encourages buyers to break the law whenever they record something, the complaint claims.

Imation, based in Oakdale, Minnesota, is aware that “its Blu-Ray products, including Blu-Ray discs, are especially made for use in an infringement of the patents,” according to the complaint.

Ken Kadet, an Imation spokesman, declined to comment.

In 2009 Sony, Panasonic Corp., Pioneer Corp. and Koninklijke Philips NV pooled patents related to Blu-Ray technology in a holding company called One-Blue, LLC. That company oversees Blu-Ray licensing.

Blu-Ray is the main standard for watching movies at home in high definition. The format is backed by the major film and television studios and was developed by a group of consumer electronics makers, including Sony.

The case is One-Blue, LLC v. Imation Corp, U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To contact the reporter on this story: Steven Church in Wilmington, Delaware, at schurch3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John Pickering at jpickering@bloomberg.net

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