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Last Updated: Friday, 8 September 2006, 10:14 GMT 11:14 UK
MP3 player court order overturned
SanDisk Sansa e280 audio player
SanDisk wants the 8GB Sansa e280 to take on the iPod nano
SanDisk has put its MP3 players back on display in time for the end of the IFA electronics show in Berlin.

A court in Berlin had ruled against the US-based company, which has refused to pay Sisvel, an Italian patents firm, for a licence to the MP3 audio format.

But SanDisk succeeded in overturning an injunction ordering it to remove its audio players from its stand.

Sisvel and SanDisk have been in dispute since last year, with legal cases ongoing in several countries.

SanDisk says it uses a non-patented technology to play back MP3 files.

Sisvel licenses MP3 compression technology to more than 600 software and hardware companies.

It insists that any equipment capable of playing or recording compressed MP3 files must be fully licensed.


A spokesman for SanDisk confirmed that the company had successfully asked a court to overturn the injunction, and was able to put its new products back on display before the end of the IFA show.

SanDisk has recently launched new MP3 players based on flash memory, with capacities of up to 8GB, in an attempt to challenge the dominance of Apple's iPod.

The spokesman, Arjan Schellinkhout, would not comment on whether the two-day disruption to its presence at the show had adversely affected trade sales.

But he suggested Sisvel's legal challenge was based on a "misrepresentation" of SanDisk's product line.


Giustino de Sanctis, head of Sisvel's US-based subsidiary Audio MPEG, told the BBC News website earlier this week that SanDisk's refusal to purchase an MP3 licence left them out of step with hundreds of other manufacturers and developers.

SanDisk HQ in California
SanDisk has a length legal dispute with Sisvel over MP3
"By definition you have to follow the standard," Mr de Sanctis said.

Mr de Sanctis said the fact that SanDisk players were able to play MP3 files meant the company was legally required to purchase a licence.

"It is just not possible to do it any other way."

In a statement, SanDisk described its technology as "completely different from a certain [patented] audio data transmission and reception technique", and insisted it was not infringing any patent.

MP3 compression algorithms emerged in the 1990s following development efforts by two sets of technology companies and institutes.

Patents on MP3 expire in 2010, when the technology becomes freely available..

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