Sony settles with 3M over battery patents

By Justin Mann on July 31, 2007, 11:05 AM
Four months ago, 3M was fairly irate with Sony over their battery technology, enough so to take them to court. Along with several other technology companies, such as Panasonic, Lenovo, Hitachi and others, 3M brought the suit against them seeking damages and injunctions. The specific issue at hand was patent infringement, in which 3M believed Sony was using their technology for a type of cathode in lithium-ion batteries without permission. Following the lawsuit, 3M has reach a settlement with the ailing Sony. While details are sparse, Sony will be at least paying royalties:

Under the settlement, Sony and Sony Electronics have agreed to license 3M-developed materials for cathodes, which are the positive electrodes in batteries. Terms of the agreement were not released.
The components involved had nothing to do with the battery recalls over the last few years. Still, given Sony's current status in the market as a battery manufacturer, if I was 3M I'd be staying as far away from their batteries as I could get.

Whether or not the settlement applies to the other companies isn't clear, but it most likely doesn't.




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