Friday, March 02, 2007

Sony to Pay in Patent Dispute


The Sony Corporation, the consumer-electronics maker, agreed to pay the Immersion Corporation, a software developer, $150.3 million to end a patent dispute over technology used in the Sony PlayStation video-game console.

Immersion will get a $97.2 million court judgment, plus royalties totaling at least $53.1 million, the chief financial officer of the company, Stephen Ambler, said yesterday. Immersion shares rose as high as $9.87 in after-hours trading, after closing at $7.23 in regular trading.

A jury in Oakland, Calif., found in September 2004 that Sony had infringed on two Immersion patents for so-called haptic technology, used in PlayStation and PlayStation 2 consoles to make game controllers vibrate with the on-screen action. The jury awarded $82 million, which grew to $90.7 million with interest and costs.

With interest, that figure increased to $97.2 million, Mr. Ambler said. Sony also paid about $30.6 million as a compulsory license for the last two years, money that Immersion treated as deferred revenue. Sony will make 12 more quarterly licensing payments totaling $22.5 million through the end of 2009, Mr. Ambler said.

Sony's American depository receipts rose 14 cents, to $51.87.


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