"How can IMMR possibly demonstrate prior art here?"
JS - can you point me to a good discussion on the claim construction issue on the IMMR board? Anyone? I understand that the Court of Appeals reviews the claim construction de novo including any necessary factual determinations. Is their review of the factual determinations also de novo or is the trial court given deference as to the factual determinations necessary to claim construction?
Do you think this is THE issue SNE will appeal on? I'm not aware of any other potential errors.
Sony seeks to reconnect with audience
By Michiyo Nakamoto
In Japan's fashion-conscious consumer society, hot products tend to attract long queues of eager shoppers willing to part with considerable sums to get their hands on the latest gadget.
But Sony was on Thursday handing out its latest digital Walkman for free to guests at a promotional event. The aim was to spread the word on the new portable audio players that are the consumer electronics company's answer to Apple's iPod.
The event kicks off a campaign to regain the initiative from Apple in the portable audio player market, a segment that Sony pioneered and which is seen as one of the most promising growth areas for the industry.
But, although market share figures are not available, there is a widespread consensus that Apple's iPod is far ahead of the competition even in Japan where Sony, Toshiba and others are scrambling to catch up with their US rival.
"iPod has an outstanding lead over competitors [and] is likely to maintain that lead," says Ken Kitabayashi, a consultant on the information and communication industry at the Nomura Research Institute.
For Sony and others, this year will provide a critical test of whether or not they will be able to challenge, if not overturn, Apple's lead.
"We have to do itnow [because] this yearis a turning point," says Kiyoshi Shikano, corporate vice-president of Sony marketing, who is spearheading the campaign. "There is a sense of crisis." The industry expects the number of portable audio players that use hard disk drives or flash memory to overtake portable players that use CDs and minidiscs this year. And for Sony, in particular, to play second fiddle in a market it more or less created is not only damaging to its pride and staff morale, but also to its brand.
"Unfortunately, the image and the value of Sony among young people has changed in recent years. We have to acknowledge that. So, we thought about what needs to be done to bring them back to Sony," Mr Shikano says.
Within the year, Apple aims to start its iTunes music downloading service in Japan. iPod users can also transfer music via a computer on to their iPods.
Mr Kitabayashi thinks that, if Apple starts iTunes in 2005, the online music downloading market "will probably surge," as the already large base of iPod users signs up to use iTunes.
This could create a virtuous circle for Apple in Japan, as in other markets, whereby demand for iPod stimulates the use of iTunes and the convenience of iTunes spurs demand for the iPod.
Sony and other Japanese manufacturers already have a downloading service, a site called Mora, which is operated by Label Gate, a joint venture between most of Japan's major record companies.
Since Apple has a closed system in which iPod users can only download from iTunes and iTunes can only be accessed by iPod users, Apple's future growth will depend to some extent on how successful it is in signing up the major record labels.
Sony could pose an obstacle to Apple by refusing to provide iTunes withtitles owned by Sony Music, one of Japan's major record labels.
Nevertheless, Mr Kitabayashi believes iPod's large installed base in Japan, and the fact that iPod users have a library of music on their computers which they will not want to give up by switching to another system, means Apple will maintain its dominance for the foreseeable future.
Mr Shikano maintains that Sony is not worried about Apple's lead. "The priority is to rebuild Sony's brand among young people," he says.
This will be time consuming and will require patience but the way to do it is to bring out attractive products that can convince young users of the value of Sony's brand, he believes. "As long as we try to compete with Apple, we won't be able to do that."
Cnslr. I'll get that to you shortly. Please be patient as I am busy with other things.
The claim construction is not THE issue. First, I think the only point of contention concerned one patent only. That's not enough to get Sony what it needs.
The only thing they can point and that they are trying to bring up at the appellate level is the amount of the jury award. I don't see on what legal basis that can be challenged though. The standard for overruling a jury decision (assuming not legal errors are found) are very very strict in the 9'th district.
Furthermore it seems on the face of it that the damage amount was very reasonable (IMMR asked for about 4 times that amount). Judge Wilken seemed to think so too in her Jan.10 order.
You're not quite there...
As of 48 hours ago, you see, IMMR longs requisitioned this board. We're not going anywhere until SNE apologies and pays us our money. Besides, we kind of like it here now. We're getting read a lot more by far more people than when we're at IMMR board, and anyone doing DD on SNE should be made fully aware of Stringer's sleazy business practices.
So SNE longs, get used to us.
Obviously they did during the IC trial that just finished and is the reason Sony has been ordered to pay up based on the jury trial that made the same conclusion. Or hadn't you noticed? So the question isn't how Immersion can possbily demonstrate prior art but why Sony was unable to prove otherwise.
You might have dicovered Post-it notes in your basement too, but you didn't.
Creative minds deserve sanctuary without infringement to continue to create more, the whole world benefits. Without this protection we have a world of pirates and theives.
<<You might have dicovered Post-it notes in your basement too, but you didn't.>>
Show me the patent for post-it notes.
If you find it, explain to me why the the patent should have been awarded when a) paper had invented and b) the adhesive was already in production.
Don't lecture people on the utility of patents. That's not the point. The point is whether the patent should stand.