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MIT Sues Sony for Digital TV Profit

August 28, 2001

BOSTON (AP) _ The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is suing Sony Electronics Inc., claiming that the consumer products giant is infringing on four patents used in digital television.

In a lawsuit filed Monday in U.S. District Court, MIT asks a judge to order Sony to stop infringing on its patents and to pay damages for alleged past infringements.

``MIT has been, and will continue to be, seriously damaged and irreparably injured unless Sony is enjoined by this court,″ MIT asserted in its lawsuit.

Earlier, MIT won concessions by taking similar actions against two other consumer electronics companies, Sharp and Toshiba America. MIT spokesman Robert Sales said those lawsuits were dismissed after MIT entered into licensing agreements with the companies.

Sony Electronics, based in Park Ridge, N.J., is a unit of Japan’s Sony Corp. Greg Dvorken, a spokesman for Sony, said the company would not comment on the lawsuit.

MIT claims in its lawsuit that the technology was contributed by MIT scientists to the so-called ``Grand Alliance″ set up by the Federal Communications Commission in 1993. Corporations and researchers collaborated to set a uniform U.S. standard for digital TV.

Sony, Sharp and Toshiba are among the companies selling digital TV sets, which offer a clearer picture than conventional analog sets. Prices range from $800 to $12,000 or more, and MIT says it is entitled to at least some profit.

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