RealTime IT News

Microsoft Takes Plug-and-Play to ITC

Microsoft filed a patent-infringement claim with the International Trade Commission (ITC) today against wireless electronics accessory maker Belkin.

According to Microsoft, Belkin has refused to engage in significant licensing talks for the use of Microsoft's U2 technology.

The technology, according to Microsoft, enables a computer peripheral device to auto-sense whether it is plugging into a PS2 or USB port and to connect to it.

The plug-and-play U2 technology allows users to attach devices to computers without having to deal with connection settings.

"Unfortunately, Belkin has refused two years of repeated attempts to initiate meaningful licensing discussions," Tom Burke, corporate vice president and assistant general counsel for Microsoft, said in a statement.

Microsoft is not seeking monetary damages from Belkin, but rather asking the ITC to force the company to stop importing unlicensed U2 products into the United States until it licenses the technology from Microsoft.

Burke noted Targus, KYE Systems, Monterey International, Behavior Tech Computer and Fellowes, among others, have licensing agreements with Microsoft to use the U2 technology.

"Belkin's use of this technology without paying for it is unfair to companies who invent, respect and pay for this property," he said.

Belkin declined to comment on the complaint, stating in an e-mail to internetnews.com it had not been served with the complaint.

The ITC usually decides disputes within 12 to 18 months.