Wednesday, April 20, 2005

SOMETIMES, NEGOTIATION AND CROSS-LICENSING ISN'T ENOUGH: ( Intermec Technologies and Symbol Technologies have reportedly become embroiled in a legal battle, alleging that they have infringed on each other's patents. At the heart of the dispute is the technology of RFID (radio frequency identification). Intermec holds key patents regarding RFID's "air interface" and is demanding royalties from other RFID manufacturers for its intellectual property.

The current dispute follows the failure of lengthy talks to resolve the intellectual property issues. Intermec is now suing Symbol, accusing it of infringing its RFID patents. Symbol says it tried to end the dispute through a cross-licencing agreement with Intermec, but was unsuccessful.

Then, in March, Symbol suddenly terminated an agreement to supply Intermec with laser scanning engines for its barcode equipment. It also filed a lawsuit accusing Intermec of infringing some of its wireless communications patents. (Symbol claims to have developed the world's first commercial wireless local area network in 1989, and its technology was the basis for the IEEE 802.11 "WiFi" standard.)

Two weeks later, Intermec hit back with its own lawsuit, accusing Symbol of infringing six Intermec patents related to wireless access, terminal and software technologies. Intermec is seeking damages and an injunction to prohibit further infringement of these patents.

Intermec expects the patent dispute to be resolved by negotiation, without involving end-users . . .


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