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SIERRA AND MULTI-TECH FAIL TO HALT HAYES Modem Escape Sequence Education Campaign Continues

 SIERRA AND MULTI-TECH FAIL TO HALT HAYES
 Modem Escape Sequence Education Campaign Continues
 ATLANTA, Sept. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- United States District Courts in California and Minnesota have refused to prohibit Hayes efforts to educate the public concerning the difference between Time Independent Escape Sequence (TIES) modems and Hayes Patented Improved Escape Sequence With Guard Time modems.
 These decisions cleared the way for Hayes to continue its education campaign and to make available to the public computer diskettes which can be used to identify TIES modems.
 Sierra Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ-NMS: SERA), a manufacturer of modem chip sets which incorporate the TIES escape sequence, filed suit against Hayes in July 1992 seeking to stop Hayes from running ads including a Time Bomb metaphor and distributing a test kit which included an educational brochure and a TIES test data file. Sierra accused Hayes of stating that a TIES modem can erase or destroy data, even though Hayes has never made such a statement. Sierra also sought to prevent Hayes from claiming in advertisements that the Hayes Patented Escape Sequence With Guard Time Mechanism is more reliable than the TIES escape sequence mechanism and from using the Hayes icon employed to identify Hayes and Hayes licensed products.
 After a hearing on Sierra's requests, the Court enjoined Hayes from claiming that modems with TIES can erase or destroy data, which Hayes has not done and did not intend to do. The Court further enjoined Hayes from using the Time Bomb metaphor in advertising even though Hayes had disclosed that it had no further plans to use the Time Bomb metaphor. The Court refused to enjoin Hayes distribution of the test kit and the use of the Hayes icon to identify Hayes and Hayes licensed products. That Court also found that the evidence of the reliability of TIES was in dispute and that Sierra had failed to provide a sufficient reason to prohibit Hayes from stating that TIES is an unreliable escape sequence.
 Multi-Tech Systems, Inc., a Minnesota modem manufacturer who has sued Hayes several times, filed a motion for preliminary injunctive relief requesting that the Minnesota Court halt Hayes advertising concerning escape sequence technology and halt the dissemination of the test kit offered in the Hayes ad. Although TIES has not been revealed on its product packaging, Multi-Tech has begun incorporating TIES into its modem products. Hayes had not identified Multi-Tech in the ad and was surprised to learn of Multi-Tech's use of the TIES technology, particularly since Multi-Tech had earlier sued Hayes in an apparent attempt to invalidate the Hayes Patented Escape Sequence and gain the opportunity to use the Hayes Escape Sequence With Guard Time Mechanism without a license.
 On the same day that the California Court refused to stop the distribution of the TIES test kit, the Court in Minnesota preliminary enjoined Hayes distribution of the test kit as offered in the ad and from characterizing the test data file as a file that may occur in a user's data. Although Hayes had represented to the Court that it did not intend to further publish the Time Bomb ad, the Court also enjoined Hayes from publishing that ad. However, the Court specifically refused to enjoin Hayes from discussing this important issue and from distributing a data file which merely identifies a modem that supports TIES. The Court noted that the injunction did not prevent Hayes from presenting a comparison between the Hayes Patented Escape Sequence With Guard Time Mechanism and the TIES escape sequence nor from "redesigning" the test kit.
 In order to obtain the preliminary injunction, and to protect Hayes, the Court required Multi-Tech to post a $500,000 bond.
 In reaching its decision, the Minnesota Court relied on survey evidence which was submitted by Multi-Tech and which Hayes believes mischaracterizes its educational campaign. In order to correct those misperceptions, Hayes is appealing the Court's decision.
 "We see this as a clear victory over the attempts of some manufacturers to keep customers in the dark about the issues of the reliability of escape sequence technology," said Dennis C. Hayes, president and founder of Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc. "We know we are doing the right thing for the customers by exposing this issue to public debate."
 Both of these orders have cleared the way for Hayes to proceed and Hayes is immediately offering a White Paper which explains the issue of escape sequences in plain language. Hayes is also offering a TIES Identification File, which will enable modem users to determine if their modems are TIES modems(a). The TIES Identification File is also available on Online with Hayes bulletin board system and the Hayes Forum on CompuServe and GEnie.
 Some manufacturers are using TIES in their modem products without labeling those products as supporting TIES. This make it impossible for the average user to identify modems which have TIES. Customer response to the Hayes educational campaign has been extremely positive and indicates consumer's concern over the inability to identify modems which use TIES.
 Hayes continues to incorporate the Patented Improved Escape Sequence With Guard Time Mechanism in all of its modem and ISDN products which use the Hayes Standard AT Command Set. The Hayes '302 patent, which has become the industry standard modem escape sequence due to its proven reliability after 11 years of use, has been licensed by 25 manufacturers. Hayes continues to offer reasonable licenses to modem manufacturers throughout the industry.
 Best known as the leader in microcomputer modems, Hayes develops, supplies and supports computer communications equipment and software for personal computer and computer communications networks. The company distributes its products in over 60 countries through a global network of authorized distributors, dealers, mass merchants, VARs, systems integrators and original equipment manufacturers.
 -0- 9/21/92
 /EDITOR'S NOTE: (a) Technical Note: The TIES Identification File is not intended to represent a data file which may occur in a user's data. Instead, the file is designed to identify modems which use TIES by transmitting every possible TIES escape sequence twice. That way, any modem set to recognize the TIES escape sequence will escape during transmission of the Indentification File and alert the user that the modem supports TIES. The file is not a software package. The Identification File is simply an ASCII data file used to assist users in determining if their modem implements TIES./
 /CONTACT: Editorial Information: Beth Logan Malanoski or Peggy Ballard of Hayes Microcomputer Products, 404-840-9200, or, fax, 404-441-1238; Product information: Hayes Customer Service, 404-441-1617 (U.S.), 519-746-5000 (Canada), 081-848-1858 (U.K.), or 852-887-1037 (H.K.)/
 (SERA) CO: Hayes Microcomputer Products, Inc.; Sierra Semiconductor
 Corporation; Multi-Tech Systems, Inc. ST: Georgia, Minnesota IN: CPR SU:


BR -- AT009 -- 1928 09/21/92 18:47 EDT
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Date:Sep 21, 1992
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