Sony to Pay Ampex to Settle Patent Case

From Bloomberg News

Sony Corp. agreed Monday to pay at least $40 million to Ampex Corp. to resolve a dispute over patents related to digital cameras, sending Ampex shares soaring 90%, their biggest one-day jump ever.

Sony, the world’s No. 2 consumer-electronics maker, will get a license to use Ampex technology through April 2006 and agreed to pay royalties thereafter for digital videotape recorders and digital still cameras that use Ampex inventions.

Ampex, a Redwood City, Calif.-based company that makes recording devices and digital image processors, has settled similar disputes with Canon Inc. and Sanyo Electric Co. and said it was in licensing talks with other companies.

Ampex said in a statement that it “anticipates that additional patent license agreements will be concluded within the next 90 days.” The payment from Sony almost equals Ampex sales for 2003 of $43.4 million.


Ampex shares rose $3.64 to $7.69 in over-the-counter trading of almost 400,000 shares, about 38 times the three-month daily average.

It’s the highest closing price since April 2001.