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Sony wins semiconductor case

A U.S. court overturned a verdict against Sony in a semiconductor case brought by Loral.

A New York appeals court today overturned a jury verdict and ruled that certain Sony semiconductor chips and processes do not infringe two patents of U.S firm Loral.

The case involved chips known as CCDs, or charge-coupled devices, that provide the electronic eye for video cameras and are used in fax machines. Loral said the case applied to Sony camcorders sold in the U.S. between February 1989 and January 1993.

Sony said that its CCDs used a different manufacturing process than Loral claimed. The company said Loral brought similar cases against about 20 Japanese and South Korean firms.

In other semiconductor developments, the United States and Japan are expected to meet tomorrow to come up with a solution to their current dispute over chip trade, which needs to be settled by July 31 when the existing semiconductor pact expires.

Acting trade representative Charlene Barshefsky and Japanese trade minister Shunpei Tsukahara have met met for about 1-1/2 hours. Barshefsky said the talks were productive and Tsukahara said the differences were narrowing, according to a Reuters news service report.

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