Sony is always getting intro trouble, especially with patent infringment. This time, Parallel Processing Corporation (PPC), a California-based company, has sued Sony and accused the creators of the PlayStation for infringing on its patent of Synchronized Parallel Processing with Shared Memory (Patent no. 5,056,000), and using the said patent on its Cell processors. What does this mean for Sony? Impounding and destruction of all Sony products that infringe on the same patent – which means destroying all PS3 consoles.
The five-page complaint that PPC filed against Sony claims that Sony’s powerful Cell processors used the company’s patented technology, enabling Sony’s Cell chips to breakdown processes into smaller ones, all running at the same time and in different parallel processors for faster computing.
The patent was signed and approved on October 8, 1991, and was awarded to International Parallel Machines. Parallel Processing Corporation claims to be the exclusive licensee of the patent, and is seeking damages and attorney’s fees.
UPDATE (1st August 2007 at 12:22):
Sony’s own patent, filed in 2001 and issued in 2007, actually lists the 1991 patent as a citation. In other words, Sony’s own patent lawyers have already seen the old patent and deemed it not to be a threat, and the U.S. Patent Office apparently agreed when it issued Sony the patent in June. This could mean that Sony may escape the lawsuit, but there is no guarantee.