Time for sharp competitive intelligence

Motorola Inc. and Hitachi Ltd. were among 34 companies accused of violating a retired Columbia University professor’s patent for light-emitting diodes and laser diodes.

Gertrude Neumark Rothschild filed the complaint today with the U.S. International Trade Commission in Washington. She is seeking to block U.S. imports of products that she says infringe the patent, including video players using Sony’s Blu-ray format, Motorola’s Razr mobile phones and Hitachi camcorders.

Companies named in the complaint include Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., LG Electronics Inc. and Samsung Group, makers of Blu-ray DVD players, as well as Toshiba Corp., which said yesterday it would abandon the HD DVD format that challenged Sony in the market for high-definition video.

Nokia Oyj, the world’s biggest mobile-phone maker, and Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, the joint venture between Tokyo-based Sony and Ericsson AB of Sweden, also were named in the complaint.

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