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DIGITAL WINS GERMAN PATENT DISPUTE GERMAN PATENT COURT REJECTS MTI's CHALLENGE TO SDI STI PATENT

DIGITAL WINS GERMAN PATENT DISPUTE GERMAN PATENT COURT REJECTS MTI's
    CHALLENGE TO SDI STI PATENT
    MAYNARD, Mass., Sept. 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Digital Equipment Corporation (NYSE: DEC) announced today that the German Patent Court in Munich has upheld the validity of Digital's Standard Disk Interconnect/Standard Tape Interconnect (SDI/STI) encoder/decoder patent challenged by Micro Technology GmbH, the German subsidiary of Micro Technology, Inc. (MTI) of Anaheim, Calif.
    After a hearing by a five-judge panel on September 24, 1992, the German Patent Court rejected MTI's attacks on Digital's patent and, for the purpose of setting court and attorney fees, valued this patent at no less than DM 20 million.
    MTI's challenge in Munich was an offensive gambit initiated after Digital had filed a patent infringement suit in July of 1991 in the Hamburg District Court for MTI's use of the SDI/STI technology in Germany.
    In June of 1992, the Hamburg court ruled that the SDI/STI encoder/decoder patent was indeed infringed by SDI/STI products offered for sale by MTI in Germany.  The enforcement of this decision against continued infringement was stayed pending appeal by MTI's posting of a DM 15 million bond.
    In light of Thursday's German Patent Court decision, Digital has asked for an expedited decision on MTI's appeal of the June infringement ruling. Digital will also urge the Hamburg District Court to proceed with an accounting of the damages owed Digital by MTI for infringement of this SDI/STI encoder/decoder patent.  In addition, Digital will ask the Hamburg court for an infringement decision on the second of four SDI/STI patents it has asserted against MTI.
    MTI is the only company that so far has refused Digital's offer to sign a phase-out agreement for this technology. More than 20 companies have agreed to Digital's phase-out program, which allows them time to make a transition in their product lines to non-infringing technology. When MTI rejected the notion of a voluntary phase-out, Dg?ital filed patent infringement suits in both Hamburg and Denver, Colorado. A trial is expected next spring in Denver.
    Digital's Vice President Charles F. Christ said, "These two decisions in Germany -- one holding the SDI/STI encoder/decoder patent valid, and the earlier ruling that this same patent was infringed -- should put to rest any doubts about Digital's ability to protect its intellectual property rights in the SDI/STI technology.  It is our intention to end this dispute once and for all by continuing to vigorously prosecute the infringement actions in Hamburg and Denver."
    Digital Equipment Corporation, headquartered in Maynard, Mass., is the leading worldwide supplier of networked computer systems, software and services.  Digital pioneered and leads the industry in interactive, distributed and multivendor computing. Digital and its partners deliver the power to use the best integrated solutions - from desktop to data center - in open information environments.
    -0-             09/30/92
    CONTACT:  Nikki Richardson of Digital Equipment Corporation, 508-493-6369
    (DEC) CO:  DIGITAL EQUIPMENT CORPORATION IN:  CPR ST:  MA -- NE016 -- X581  09/30/92
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Sep 30, 1992
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