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News hardware & software 11 April 2023, 18:25

author: Damian Mista

Sony Criticized for Childishness and Malice Towards Competitors in Patent Applications

Sony has included a phrase in its patent description that describes other manufacturers as „inferior.” The practice is said to have been used by the giant for many years.

Sony has patented yet another design in a way that is sparking controversy. This practice has reportedly been used by the Japanese giant for more than a decade.

Other manufacturers are inferior

The Japanese manufacturer has reserved the right to the design of a wireless controller, which is assumed to work on various devices in the future. This includes TVs, game consoles or other items like DVD players. However, while the idea itself is not objectionable, the controversy was sparked by the designation of other manufacturers as "inferior" in the description of the patent.

"[...] or a home entertainment system of a different albeit inferior manufacturer."

The matter was recently raised by the editors of Game Rant, indicating that Sony is thus hitting back at PlayStation competitors from Microsoft and Nintendo. The association came about, among other things, because of the earlier mention of PC and multiple consoles from Sony in the same sentence.

Sony Criticized for Childishness and Malice Towards Competitors in Patent Applications - picture #1
Sony is working on a new controller. Source: unsplash | Kamil S.

Interestingly, it is on the patent page that we are dealing with a scanner-derived version of the text. For this reason, visitors to the website are urged to also read the PDF version. In the latter version, Sony no longer refers to other manufacturers as "inferior".

Sony has been behaving this way for years

However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. VGC publicized a text on the Foss Patents blog, run by Florian Mueller, who has been analyzing patent applications for more than 20 years. The author of the article claims that Sony has been behaving like this since 2011 and bluntly described them with several adjectives:

"However, calling competitors "inferior" in general is unjustified, stupid, childish and unprofessional," wrote Mueller.

Mueller means it and has included more than ten links to patents in his publication, all of which contain the term "inferior". He calls this behavior a "tradition" of the Japanese giant.

Sony Criticized for Childishness and Malice Towards Competitors in Patent Applications - picture #2
Sony has quite a bit of competition. Source: Unsplash | Turag Photography.

The matter is made more interesting by the fact that Florian Mueller is currently working with Microsoft. The latter, on the other hand, is trying to finalize the purchase Activision, where the former worked from 1995 to 1998. Despite this, Mueller insists that he is independent.

Sony, at this point, has yet to publish its own position on the controversy, which may yet to unfold. The question is why such mischief is actually intended. Maybe in this case it's about possible compatibility problems with devices from different manufacturers?

Damian Mista

Damian Mista

Has been active on Gamepressure since July 2022. He most often publishes articles about innovations in the world of technology due to his interest in electronic equipment and the ever-changing reality, but he also occasionally tackles topics related to games and movies. He also likes to travel to past epochs. He was drawn to games and writing from a young age, so he would finish various games to later write amateur reviews. He knows all the nooks and crannies of Khorinis, and he has rewatched the Indiana Jones series many times.


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