Intermec rejects claims in Symbol's patent infringement litigation

Intermec Technologies Corp. reports that Symbol Technologies recently filed a lawsuit in Delaware alleging that Intermec infringed Symbol's wireless communication patents. Intermec says it believes there is no basis for this lawsuit. Symbol reports that its lawsuit, filed in the U.


Intermec Technologies Corp. reports that Symbol Technologies recently filed a lawsuit in Delaware alleging that Intermec infringed Symbol's wireless communication patents. Intermec says it believes there is no basis for this lawsuit.

Symbol reports that its lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, relates to Intermec's alleged infringement of Symbol's patents covering wireless communications technologies. Symbol also has terminated its supplier relationship with Intermec for laser-scan engines. Symbol supplied Intermec with laser-scan engines that Intermec embeds in its bar-code scanning equipment. Intermec adds that Symbol's decision to terminate their OEM agreement for laser-scan engines will have no impact on Intermec's ability to supply laser-scan products.

In its litigation, Symbol alleges that Intermec infringes Symbol's patents relating to the wireless communications standard 802.11, also known as Wi-Fi. The lawsuit also covers Intermec's use of Symbol Wi-Fi patents in Intermec's bar-code scanning terminals. Symbol is seeking a permanent injunction against Intermec's use of Symbol's patented technologies, and monetary damages for prior use.

Symbol adds that its actions result from long, but unfruitful, licensing negotiations between the two companies regarding several issues relating to intellectual property (IP). Intermec also is reportedly suing Symbol, and accusing Symbol of infringing Intermec's radio frequency identification (RFID) patents. Symbol says it sought to address these IP issues through a cross-licensing arrangement between the two companies, but that its efforts were unsuccessful.

Intermec's response

In response to Symbol's accusations that it's hindering market adoption of RFID, Intermec says it has promoted and actively advanced RFID adoption and RFID standards-setting processes, while respecting IP rights. For example, Intermec reports that it has: made five patents core to the practice of RFID available on a royalty-free basis to further adoption of EPCglobal Inc.'s Generation 2 standard; made 11 patents available on a reasonable and non-discriminatory basis to support adoption of the international RFID standard ISO 18000 6b; and committed to providing industry access to its RFID patent estate. Since adoption of the Gen 2 standard in December 2004, Intermec says it has accelerated RFID licensing discussions with many potential licensees, including Symbol.

Intermec adds that Symbol's litigation is an apparent reaction to its own earlier RFID patent infringement lawsuit against Matrics Inc., which was filed in June 2004. The firm adds that Symbol knowingly acquired the lawsuit in September 2004 when it purchased Matrics. Intermec has charged that Matrics deliberately made and sold RFID products in the U.S. that were known to infringe Intermec's RFID patents.

In its own response, Symbol adds that it and virtually all other industry participants, other than Intermec, are committed to a royalty-free RFID air interface standard.

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