Monday, March 24, 2008

Huge technology lawsuit.

Gertrude Neumark Rothschild, a little old lady in New York, who holds some very widely used patents for low-wavelength LEDs (green, blue, violet), is ready to get paid for all these Blu-Ray players, handheld devices, stoplights, and everything else that uses them.  She's suing the big boys.  Philips already paid up.  Sony, Nokia, Samsung, Sanyo, Sharp, Pioneer and a big list of others should respond to the case.  She has sent cease and desist letters.  Does that mean these types of devices may stop shipping unless they cut her some checks?  I'm not sure it's ethical to wait until the technology is widely in use to demand money by suing the companies making the products, or they might have chosen another royalty-free design to accomplish the same thing. 

On the other hand, if she sticks it to them, and therefore anyone wanting cheap gadgets, they'll do their patent research a bit more thoroughly in the next design cycle for these type of products, so the royalties can be negotiated on the front end and priced in before the technology becomes a household standard.  Meanwhile, I bet we start seeing more red, yellow, and white LEDs, since her process isn't needed for making the higher wavelength ones.

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