Magnet manufacturer sues Microsoft and Philips

Magnequench International has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and Philips Electronics, claiming patent infringement for the use...

Magnequench International has filed a lawsuit against Microsoft and Philips Electronics, claiming patent infringement for the use magnetic materials found in Xbox DVD drives.

The firm has alleged that it has patents for neodymium-iron-boron (Nd-Fe-B) magnets used for miniaturisation, which are purportedly found in the DVD-Roms manufactured by Philips for Microsoft's gaming console.

"Since we filed our original suit, we have had many good and positive discussions with manufacturers and retailers who indicate they are taking steps to better police their supply chains," said Archibald Cox, president and chief executive officer of Magnequench.

"The defendants have told us they are opposed to infringing our patents and are willing to work with us. In fact, already many of our customers have told us they are regaining business they had once lost to infringing materials due in large part to pressure applied by some defendants. The unfortunate fact is that illicit magnets and magnetic powders are still finding their way into popular electronics products in the US."

The Nd-Fe-B magnets are a roughly $2bn (£1.1bn) market - Magnequench suspects that up to 20% of the Nd-Fe-B magnets produced annually infringe upon their patents.

Written by GamePro staff

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