Sony and their ever famous PlayStation and PlayStation2 may be yanked from the shelves. According to the article Mortal Combat, US District Judge Claudia Wilken ordered Sony to "stop selling its already hard-to-get PlayStations, as well as nearly four dozen games it has made or allowed others to sell on its systems". The dispute is over what is called haptics technology - software and hardware that makes a game controller shiver and shake when you slam a car into a wall or get shot by a bad guy, or makes a steering wheel veer out of control when you bump into an object. Apparently Sony is infringing on patents owned by a small Silicon Valley company, Immersion, which patented the shiver and shake technology.
Patents are one method a company can use to protect unique production processes and products and prevent competitors from copying ideas; however, they are also something other companies must recoginze and respect, as Sony failed to do this time.