U.S. trade body to probe Sony on Blu-ray

Patent complaint over LEDs and laser diodes leads trade commission to investigate electronics such as handhelds and high-def DVD players.(From Reuters)

The U.S. International Trade Commission will launch an investigation into Sony and about 30 other companies on possible patent infringements related to Blu-ray disc players and other products.

The commission said Thursday on its Web site that the products involved are short-wavelength light-emitting diodes and laser diodes used in such electronics as handheld mobile devices, traffic lights, and high-definition DVD players.

The move is based on a complaint filed in February by Gertrude Neumark Rothschild, a Columbia University professor emeritus who is seeking to block imports into the United States of a range of products that she said were infringing her patent.

Besides Sony, companies cited in the commission's announcement include Nokia, Motorola, LG Electronics, and Panasonic maker Matsushita Electric.

Last month, the Sony-backed Blu-ray format won the battle over which standard would rule the high-definition video world when Toshiba threw in the towel and ditched HD DVD.

A Sony representative said the company wouldn't comment on an ongoing investigation.