Symbol Technologies Announces Lawsuit Against Intermec Technologies for Patent Infringement; - Patents Relate to Decoding RSS-14 and PDF417 Bar Codes.
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Symbol is the undisputed leader in laser and imaging scan engine technology, holding more than 350 patents in these areas. The Company also holds a significant patent portfolio in the areas relating to MEMS technology and Liquid Injection Molding (LIMS) intellectual property (IP). Symbol holds approximately 900 patents in the United States alone.
"When it comes to matters regarding IP disputes, Symbol seeks to work with the appropriate parties to reach a reasonable and commercially viable resolution that will benefit all involved stakeholders. With this in mind, we tried vigorously to work with Intermec to reach a mutually agreeable cross-licensing arrangement regarding several IP issues, including RFID, that would afford maximum value to each company's shareholders. However, Intermec was unwilling to even consider a fair and reasonable licensing arrangement, necessitating resolving differences relating to IP in the courtroom. Intermec prefers to force a litigation path, while Symbol would rather focus on fairly competing in the marketplace," said Bill Nuti, Symbol president and chief executive officer.
Nuti added, "Symbol is absolutely committed to the success of our customers, partners, and the growth of this powerful technology. When it comes to RFID, we are involved in a number of production deployments to help end-users discover how best to implement EPC-compliant RFID enterprise mobility solutions. We urge Intermec, as well as the emerging RFID industry, to take a reasonable approach to RFID IP issues by supporting a royalty-free air interface standard. Such an approach will benefit both the industry and end-users."
In the lawsuit filed today, Symbol alleges that Intermec infringes Symbol patents relating to decoding RSS-14 stacked bar codes. This type of symbology is commonly used to bar code items that are too small for a traditional bar code. This Symbol patent remains effective until 2013. The other patent at issue in today's lawsuit relates to a particularly efficient way of decoding PDF417, a two-dimensional bar code symbology pioneered by Symbol in the early 1990s.
In today's lawsuit, Symbol is seeking a permanent injunction precluding Intermec's use of Symbol's patented technologies and monetary damages for Intermec's prior use of the technologies.
"Symbol has a strong and extensive IP portfolio relating to bar code reading technology," said Peter Lieb, Symbol senior vice president and general counsel. "We owe it to our shareholders to protect and defend this key corporate asset."
Summary of Recent IP Issues Between Symbol and Intermec RFID -- In June 2004, Intermec sued Matrics, Inc. just prior to Symbol's acquisition of Matrics. Symbol vigorously tried to reach an agreement with Intermec involving a cross-license of certain of each of the company's respective patents. A cross-licensing agreement would have negated the need for lengthy and costly litigation. -- Because a cross-licensing agreement could not be reached, on March 11, 2005, Symbol sued Intermec for infringement of Symbol wireless patents. Noteworthy is the fact that Intermec's RFID patents have not been validated. The validity of Symbol's wireless patents has been ratified by a court ruling in September 2003. The jury awarded Symbol $23 million for infringement of Symbol's wireless patents. True Technology Leadership -- Symbol spent approximately $125 million in 2004 on research and development, creating innovative technology and fueling future patent growth. As such, Symbol is consistently adding to its extensive patent portfolio. -- In a countersuit filed on March 23, 2005, Intermec alleged that certain Symbol data capture products infringe some of Intermec's patents. Symbol stands firm that the Intermec patents are invalid and not infringed by Symbol products. Scan Engine Agreement -- Symbol canceled its scan engine supplier agreement with Intermec because Symbol believes it is inappropriate to continue a supplier arrangement with a company that is suing Symbol. The supplier agreement permitted cancellation under these circumstances. MEMS Technology -- Several years ago, Symbol studied MEMS technology and found that it had significant limitations and was not a commercially viable alternative to laser scan engine technology. Nevertheless, consistent with Symbol's strength in IP, Symbol obtained many patents in the area of MEMS. We are interested in seeing any real-world deployments Intermec introduces using this technology. About Symbol Technologies
Symbol Technologies, Inc., The Enterprise Mobility Company(TM), is a recognized worldwide leader in enterprise mobility, delivering products and solutions that capture, move and manage information in real time to and from the point of business activity. Symbol enterprise mobility solutions integrate advanced data capture products, radio frequency identification technology, mobile computing platforms, wireless infrastructure, mobility software and world-class services programs under the Symbol Enterprise Mobility Services brand. Symbol enterprise mobility products and solutions are proven to increase workforce productivity, reduce operating costs, drive operational efficiencies and realize competitive advantages for the world's leading companies. More information is available at http://www.symbol.com/.
This news release contains forward-looking statements based on current expectations, forecasts and assumptions that involve risks and uncertainties that could cause actual outcomes and results to differ materially. These risks and uncertainties include price and product competition, dependence on new product development, reliance on major customers, customer demand for our products and services, control of costs and expenses, international growth, general industry and market conditions and growth rates and general domestic and international economic conditions including interest rate and currency exchange rate fluctuations. For a further list and description of such risks and uncertainties, see the reports filed by Symbol with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Symbol disclaims any intention or obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
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CONTACT: For media information: Patricia Hall, +1-631-738-5636, firstname.lastname@example.org, or for financial information: Nancy Tully, +1-631-738-5050, email@example.com, both of Symbol Technologies, Inc.
Web site: http://www.symbol.com/