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Broadwing, Ciena End Patent Struggle

Broadwing will pay Ciena $35 million to settle a long-running patent infringement lawsuit related to optical network technology, the companies announced today.

Nicole Anderson, a spokeswoman for Linthicum, Md.-based Ciena, said the suit was originally filed in July 2000 and concerned four patents for wavelength division multiplexing technology. WDM modulates each of several data streams onto a different part of the light spectrum.

Ciena agreed to settle the case because it determined it was in the best interests of the company and shareholders, Anderson said.

The payments will be made in three equal annual installments. Up to $33 million dollars of Broadwing's total payment may be used as credits to buy Ciena gear and services at market prices.

Additional terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

"The [settlement] allows us to concentrate the full force of our resources on building our business and further increasing the momentum we reported in our fourth quarter and year-end 2004 results," David R. Huber, Broadwing's CEO, said in a statement.

Based in Columbia, Md., Broadwing, formerly Corvis, is the parent company of Broadwing Communications and Corvis Equipment.

Broadwing Communications provides telecom services to businesses, carriers and government agencies, while Corvis Equipment develops advanced network gear, primarily for the federal government.