South Korea’s LG Electronics has filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission to bar all imports of Sony’s PlayStation 3 console into the United States. According to the complaint, LG alleges the Blu-ray drives in Sony’s top-flight gaming console infringe on three LG patents—two related to how the drive pulls data off the disc, and another related to production of “multiple data streams” to handle several camera angles. LG is calling for an “immediate” investigation into the Blu-ray players.
Industry watchers are largely viewing the suit as a tit-for-tat in an escalating patent battle between Sony and LG; late last year, Sony filed suit against LG, alleging that LG mobile phones infringe on several Sony patents. LG’s move raises the stakes for Sony by threatening a core market for its PlayStation 3 business—which, after years of struggling, is finally starting to gain ground over its console rivals, the Nintendo Wii and the Xbox 360.