180 police officers and customs officials have raided German technology trade show CeBIT, resulting in the seizure of 68 boxes of documents, products and advertising material.
The operation targeted 51 exhibitors in suspicion of patent violation – all of which are reported to have been cooperative except for one, who was arrested and held in a local police station. Those involved could face a five year prison sentence if found guilty.
The alleged patent violations were chiefly in relation to digital audio and video functions, and also DVD players and disks, reported Associated Press.
While refusing to name the companies implicated, Hannover police said in a statement: "the background is the number that has been rising for years of criminal complaints by the holders of patent rights in the run-up to CeBIT."