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Sony refiles patent suit against Connectix

The electronics giant keeps up the pressure on the maker of Virtual Game Station, which allows PlayStation games to run on PCs.

    Sony said today that it has refiled a suit against Connectix alleging that the company's software that allows PCs to run games developed for the PlayStation violates Sony patents.

    A Sony representative said the company dismissed its lawsuit a day before a hearing in the case on the judge's advice to avoid "procedural issues that may have been appealable."

    Connectix nonetheless claimed victory yesterday when Sony withdrew its original filing.

    Sony filed the patent claim in February after filing a separate federal suit alleging that Connectix Virtual Game Station violated Sony's copyrights. Last month, a federal judge threw out seven of Sony's nine claims in the case.

    "While we recognize that Sony may still attempt to bring some of these claims back before the court at a later date, this represents the third victory in a row for Connectix in this case," Connectix chief executive Roy McDonald said in a statement. "We hope that at some point Sony will recognize the merits of cooperating with us in giving added flexibility to consumers and fans of the PlayStation."

    The San Mateo, Calif.-based company released its Virtual Game Player in January 1999 but was soon hit with legal action from Sony. The program allows games for the original PlayStation console to be played on a Macintosh or Windows-based computer.

    Connectix said it will try to have Sony's remaining two claims in the copyright case thrown out at a September hearing.

    No new hearing date has been set in the patent case, Sony said.