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Symbol and Intermec settle RFID dispute

Spiralling legal fight brought under control.

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Symbol and Intermec have settled their RFID dispute.

Intermec sued Matrics, since acquired by Symbol, last year alleging infringement of RFID patents. Symbol then sued Intermec for patent infringement in March this year and pulled out of an arrangement in which it supplied Intermec with laser scan engines. After the pullout, Intermec filed another patent suit against Symbol.

Both companies make products that use RFID technology. At the height of the dispute, Symbol said Intermec had reserved the right to license its products on discriminatory terms or not at all, a strategy that Symbol believed could thwart broad use of RFID.

Under the settlement, each vendor will license technology from the other. Symbol has joined Intermec's Rapid Start RFID licensing program, which gives it access to Intermec technologies including RFID tags and fixed and portable readers. Through the cross-licensing provisions of Rapid Start, Intermec will gain access to Symbol intellectual property, according to a statement by the companies. The cross-licensing agreement covers RFID technology for all markets other than certain transportation-related markets.

Intermec will move for dismissal of the original suit against Matrics and of a complaint to the US International Trade Commission. Meanwhile, Symbol said it is again willing to sell scan engines to Intermec.

"We prefer to negotiate rather than to litigate," said Sal Ianuzzi, Symbol's CEO. "Today's agreement was possible because both companies were willing to compromise." Financial terms of the settlement were not disclosed.


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