Universal Electronics sues LogitechBy Hanleigh Daniels 18 July 2011 | Categories: news
A number of patent battle lines have recently been drawn amongst various tech companies that are suing each other over patents, including Apple vs. Samsung, Apple vs. HTC, as well as Microsoft vs. Android OEMs such as Onkyo Corporation and reportedly even Samsung.
The most recent battle sees Universal Electronics (UEI) clashing with Swiss PC peripheral maker Logitech. On Friday UEI filed a lawsuit against Logitech over seventeen patents dealing with remote control technology, following a failure in license renewal negotiations with that company.
Logitech announced yesterday that it disputes the merit of this patent infringement lawsuit. The company stated that it had declined to renew the patent license on the same terms, as these patents either expired or were licensed during the patent application stage. After the patents were granted, the company determined them to be inapplicable to its products.
The company originally entered into a license agreement with UEI in 2004 to employ some of its patents, as well as to settle a lawsuit against Logitech Harmony remotes, filed by UEI after the independent development of the Harmony remote technology.
According to Logitech, four of the seventeen patents in the lawsuit were never raised by UEI during the license renewal discussion. Three patents are expired, whilst the remaining ten patents include some that Logitech has determined to be inapplicable to its products and some that Logitech licensed as patent applications, but were determined to be inapplicable once the patents were granted.
“Logitech has a strong intellectual property (IP) portfolio for remote-control technology,” said Ashish Arora, Logitech vice president and general manager of the Digital Home business unit. “With the acquisition of our Harmony remote control business in 2004, which has become the leading brand in advanced universal remotes, we obtained patent applications on that technology that have subsequently become issued patents. We have also developed our own new patented technology and acquired additional patents.”
“Logitech respects the intellectual property rights of others, and has a history of purchasing or licensing patents when needed. However, we are confident that Logitech does not need a license from UEI. We believe that UEI’s lawsuit is without merit and we are confident that we will prevail in court.”
Last month Logitech unveiled its Touch Lapdesk N600, which features a large touchpad, enabling notebook and netbook users to point, scroll and swipe their way through the web.
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