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ITC Issues Ruling in Neology Lawsuit Regarding 6C Standard

An International Trade Commission judge has sided with Kapsch TrafficCom North America, STAR Systems and other companies in a legal action initiated by Neology in an effort to prevent them from importing electronic tolling products using the ISO/IEC 18000-6C protocol.
By Rich Handley

"This is a huge win for the 6C industry as a whole," said Stephen Lockhart, SSI's CTO, in a separate prepared statement. "Invalidating these patents is a strong signal to the market that 6C is truly an open standard protocol."

According to Kapsch, open-standard communication protocols are vital to meeting the goals of 2012's U.S. Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP 21), which mandated a national agreement regarding tolling technologies and business practices in order to allow for interoperability in terms of national electronic tolling. In 2013, Kapsch published its Open Standard Time Division Multiplexing (TDM) specification, which enabled free access to developers looking to implement the spec. E-ZPass Group, the largest interoperable tolling network in the United States, is among those employing the TDM protocol.

Kapsch has maintained that any protocol utilized throughout the industry, such as ISO/IEC 18000-6C, should remain open. "Kapsch is a firm believer in open standards to facilitate national electronic tolling interoperability," Murray said in Kapsch's prepared statement, "and determined that ensuring a truly open ISO 18000-6C standard is critical if it is to play a role in achieving the MAP 21 goals."

"This was a long, difficult and distracting fight for SSI. However, we truly believe in the openness of the ISO 18000 6C standard and that it is worth standing up for," said Bob Karr, SSI's managing director, in STAR Systems' prepared statement. "With this favorable decision," Karr added, "all of us at STAR Systems International are looking forward to putting this behind us and continuing to focus our resources and efforts toward [providing] readers, transponders and professional services to the worldwide tolling and vehicle identification markets."

As a result of this decision, the 6C Standard remains open for use by anyone in the RFID and tolling sectors. Neology, however, may opt to appeal this decision to the ITC.

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