Processor Patent Adds to Sony's Lawsuit Woes

Sony is facing trouble at court once more, this time due to the parallel processing Cell chip in its PlayStation 3 consoles, which allegedly violates a 15-year-old patent.

The self-described Parallel Processing Corporation filed suit last week, claiming that Sony infringes upon its original 1991 patent, titled, "Synchronized parallel processing with shared memory." The patent describes a computer that "permits the partitioning of a single computer program into smaller concurrent processes running in different parallel processors."

This new case follows a long string of litigation aimed at Sony. In addition to the company's oft-reported bout with rumble patent holder Immersion Corporation--which resulted in a $80+ million settlement in Immersion's favor--Sony has also been sued by Target Technology Company for disputes over a Blu-ray patent, as well as by Canadian digital security firm Certicom over an elliptical curve cryptography patent.

All of the lawsuits were filed in the Marshall district of Texas. With only a population of 30,000 residents, the district is well known as the second largest recepticle of patent lawsuits in the country. Marshall juries have awarded in favor of the plaintiff at a rate of 78%.

Parallel Processing Corporation--possibly a dummy corporartion created by the original patent holder International Parallel Machines in order to file the complaint, according to Ars Technica--is citing "irreparable harm" caused by the console manufacturer, and seeks damages and the impounding and destruction of all infringing Sony machines.

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