* Cybersitter files $2.2 bln suit against China, PC majors
* Sony, Lenovo, Toshiba among firms named as defendants
(Adds quotes from Cybersitter lawyer)
By Melanie Lee
SHANGHAI, Jan 7 A U.S. software maker is suing
China, several major PC makers and two Chinese software makers
for $2.2 billion, accusing them of using stolen code in
controversial Web filtering software that drew global criticism
Cybersitter LLC filed the suit in a Los Angeles court
naming two Chinese technology companies behind China's
filtering software, known as Green Dam, as principal
It accused the pair of stealing more than 3,000 lines of
code from their software, according to a statement issued late
on Tuesday by the Santa Barbara, California-based company.
"This lawsuit is really a groundbreaking suit for the
enforcement of intellectual property rights around the world,"
said Gregory Fayer, an attorney at Gipson Hoffman & Pancione
"(In) America we no longer have a lot of manufacturing
jobs, those have migrated to other countries, but what we do
have to offer the world is our ingenuity and our ideas," Fayer
The lawsuit also named a number of major PC makers,
including Sony Corp (6758.T), Lenovo Group (0992.HK), Toshiba
Corp (6502.T), Acer (2353.TW), Asustek (2357.TW) as defendants.
Lenovo, Acer, Sony and Asustek declined to comment, while
other PC makers and the two Chinese firms could not be
immediately reached for comment.
Fayer said his client found out about the allegedly stolen
code when independent researchers contacted the firm about
references to Cybersitter in Green Dam's code.
In mid-2009, China issued a requirement that all PCs sold
in the country would have to carry the Green Dam software,
which it said was designed to prevent the country's youth from
watching pornography but was seen by some as a veiled move at
After criticism and protests from global human rights
groups, along with behind-the-scenes lobbying from major PC
makers, China backed down in July from implementing the
Privately owned Cybersitter, which first made its claims in
June 2009, alleged in its lawsuit that the PC makers continued
to distribute the Green Damn software after they became aware
that the program's content filters were stolen. [ID:nN13119455]
China still requires all schools and cybercafes to have the
"The main player here is the Chinese government," said a
senior company official at a major PC company, speaking on
condition his name not be used because of the sensitivity of
"We're just a PC seller and unless we don't want to sell PCs
in China, we have to follow the law," he said.
(Additional reporting by Kelvin Soh in TAIPEI and Kiyoshi
Takenaka in TOKYO; Editing by Lincoln Feast)