By Matthew Henry

BERLIN: The BBC has reported that German officials at the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin raided SanDisk’s booth on Monday and seized its mp3 players, after an Italian patents firm won an injunction against the company.

According to international reports, Turin-based consumer electronics technology company Sisvel filed a complaint with the German public prosecutor last week alleging SanDisk had not paid a licence fee for using some of the company’s patented mp3 player technology.

Sisvel alleges SanDisk has used a patented technology in its new Sansa mp3 players, and German officials responded to the company’s complaint by removing the mp3 players from its display stand at IFA.

Sisvel claims to have over 600 licensees for its mp3 technology, which all pay fees per player sold. But Sandisk claims to use a different technology which is not patented – a claim Sisvel has publicly rejected as impossible.

SanDisk has released a statement in reference to separate legal action it is facing in with Sisvel in Mannheim, Germany, defending its Sansa players.

“SanDisk is showing that its mp3 players operate a technology which is completely different from a certain audio date transmission and reception techniques that has been patented for Philips and others many years ago,” said SanDisk.

“An expert opinion from one of the founders of mp3 digital audio compression sustantiates SanDisk’s position . SanDisk is not infringing on any patent in the pending litigation.”

Australian SanDisk representatives were unaware of the court action in Berlin when contacted, and declined to comment to before confirming the reports with SanDisk USA.

SanDisk recently released the Sansa e280 mp3 player, which uses an 8GB flash chip making it the highest capacity flash player currently available.