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SanDisk was forced to remove all of their digital audio players from their booth at IFA. IFA is a large consumer electronics tradeshow the wrapped up this past weekend in Berlin.

Societa Italiana per lo Sviluppo Dell' Elettronica, S.p.A., (Sisvel), a Turin, Italy-based patent management company filed a complaint with German public prosecutor in Berlin last week over SanDisk not paying Sisvel a license fee for using their 'essential' MP3 patent. Prices for stereo equipment start at 60c US per player, reducing with volume.

The German public prosecutor was convinced by the argument and issued an injunction to remove all of the MP3 players from the Sandisk stand. Those visiting the stand will only be able to look at its pictures of the MP3 players.

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Can you say owned? SanDisk's official statement defended their line of digital audio players saying that the techniques in question are different that Sisvel's and were patented for use by Philips years ago. Even if you are right, SanDisk, it still sucks. Negative publicity for the lose.

SanDisk Forced to Remove MP3 Players from IFA [Digital-Lifestyles]