PC maker Lenovo has been served with several enforcement actions in the US and Germany for allegedly infringing on patents covering the Mpeg-2 digital video compression standard.
The cases were filed in the US District Court for the Southern District of New York and the Landgericht Düsseldorf by patent holders included in worldwide patent rights firm MPEG LA's Patent Portfolio License.
The complaints assert that Lenovo sells consumer electronic devices such as desktop computers, laptop computers, Blu-ray drives and DVD drives, as well as software which uses the Mpeg-2 codec, without having entered into licensing arrangements with the individual patent holders, or as a single portfolio licence from MPEG LA.
Although the format is hugely popular and in widespread use, various patents for the standard are owned by many parties. MPEG LA was formed to create a licensing model which enables Mpeg-2 users to acquire the necessary rights from multiple patent holders in a single transaction, as an alternative to negotiating separate licences.
The lawsuits seek monetary damages, along with an injunction prohibiting Lenovo from using Mpeg-2 in its products and from offering, marketing or importing them.
A spokeswoman for Lenovo said that the company is "currently investigating the matter and, since there may be legal implications, we prefer not to comment at this time".
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