Sony has been ordered to pay US$25 million in royalties to a patent-licensing company for using protected digital camera technology. After a two-week trial in Delaware, federal court jurors concluded that Sony infringed on four patents owned by St. Clair Intellectual Property Consultants Inc., according to a
The patents are for cameras that work with Macs, IBM computers and Windows-based systems. St. Clair didn’t get nearly all it asked for, however — the company had requested $171.4 million in royalties on $3.01 billion in Sony’s digital camera sales since 1998.
Sony lawyer Sidney David told jurors that the company’s cameras work “in a totally different manner” from the St. Clair inventions, and that the IBM and Apple computers, not the cameras, process the data into video images.
Sony sold about $900 million in digital cameras during fiscal 2001 and now sells about $100 million a month, capturing 28 percent to 30 percent of the market.