Symbol, Intermec Bury Legal Hatchet

Symbol Technologies  and Intermec  have settled their intellectual property disputes and promised
not to sue each other for four years.

Symbol, of Holtsville, N.Y., and Intermec, of Everett, Wash., have agreed to
cross-license certain patents and have entered into four-year agreements not
to sue over remaining patents.

The companies, rivals in the burgeoning RFID space, have also released patent-infringement damage claims that may have existed on the settlement date or
may arise before the covenants expire.

“Both companies believe that the agreement announced today is a good
resolution of their IP disputes,” the companies said in a statement. “They
also believe that this agreement is in the best interests of their customers
and shareholders.”

Specific terms of the settlement agreement are confidential, but the pact
ends a nasty legal battle between two companies in a power struggle for key
technologies in the wireless software and RFID space.

RFID  is an emerging technology that forms the basis of
sensory networks.

One potential use of RFID includes implanting a chip with data in a product
or person and allowing a scanner to log it for inventory or other

Analysts expect even more uses for RFID to blossom and project a
multi-billion-dollar market in the future, making the stakes high for
specialists such as Symbol and Intermec.

The roots of the suits date back to 2004, when Intermec
filed an RFID-related patent infringement claim against Matrics Corp., now
owned by Symbol Technologies.

Symbol responded in March 2005, filing
lawsuits alleging that Intermec was infringing certain Symbol RFID bar-code-scanning and wireless patents.

Intermec filed
counterclaims and a complaint in the U.S. International Trade Commission
(ITC) alleging that Symbol was infringing certain Intermec bar code scanning

Symbol and Intermec resolved
the portion of their dispute that concerned RFID.

At that time, Symbol joined Intermec’s Rapid Start RFID intellectual
property licensing program in a cross-licensing deal that gave Symbol access
to Intermec’s RFID IP and gave Intermec access to Symbol’s RFID IP.

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