SanDisk MP3 Players Seized Over Patent Rights


SanDisk’s newly launched MP3 player is facing legal action over the use of its MP3 compression technology in Germany. The manufacturer’s MP3 players were seized from its booth, by officials at the IFA show in Berlin after an Italian patents firm, Sisvel won an injunction against the company. The Italian company alleged that SanDisk has refused to pay licensing fees to play MP3 files.

SanDisk argued that its MP3 players operate a technology which is completely different from a certain audio data transmission and reception techniques that has been patented for Philips and others many years ago. In a statement, SanDisk confirmed it is facing legal action in a German court but defended its audio technology, saying that it has not infringed on any patent.

The MP3 compression algorithm emerged in the 1990s by two sets of technology companies and institutes. While Sisvel and its US subsidiary called Audio MPEG, issues MP3 licenses on behalf of Dutch firm Philips, a French firm and a German research institute, Thomson issues licenses on behalf of a second group of developers.

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