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Sega says Dreamcast infringes no patents

Sega says Dreamcast infringes no patents

Sega Enterprises last week said apparent patent infringement claims being brought against its US subsidiary were groundless.

Sega said its Sega of America Dreamcast unit has apparently been sued by Media Optik, but the Japanese parent has yet to receive a copy of the formal complaint or to be contacted by the company.

Sega said the company had sued it once before, in December 1997, for patent infringement relating to its Saturn video games console, the predecessor to the Dreamcast. "In February of 1998, we requested them to provide the details of prosecution history for the patent, but there was no response from Media Optik," the company said in a statement.

"We are very surprised that after two years have passed, Media Optik has suddenly filed suit against the Dreamcast and we are having difficulty in determining their true intent," Sega said.

It concluded, "At the time of the Sega Saturn, we concluded that there was no patent infringement. At this time, we firmly believe that again there is no patent infringement."

Sega launched the Dreamcast console in Japan in November 1998 and followed it with US and European launches in September 1999. It recently announced sales had reached 4.4 million units worldwide.

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