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ITC Investigates Symbol Based on Intermec Complaint

The ITC has voted to investigate Intermec's complaint that Symbol imported mobile computing hardware from abroad that infringed on Intermec patent-protected intellectual property.
Aug 05, 2005This article was originally published by RFID Update.

August 5, 2005—Another development came in the ongoing Intermec-Symbol saga this week as the U.S. International Trade Commission lent credence to an Intermec accusation that Symbol has violated U.S. trade practices. The ITC has voted to investigate Intermec's complaint that Symbol imported hardware from abroad that infringed on Intermec patent-protected intellectual property. The devices in question are the Symbol MC50, MC9000, and PPT8800, which Intermec claims violate three of its patents related to pocket-sized handheld computing devices, modular handheld computing devices, and the accompanying recharging and data-exchange cradles.

The investigation launch in no way determines culpability; it merely suggests that the complaint might have merit. Once the investigation begins, the ITC will issue an estimated completion date 45 days later. Intermec is seeking a cease and desist order, meaning that Symbol would have to stop selling those products that include offending components.

In and of itself, this announcement is not terribly meaningful. Kevin Starke, Senior Analyst at Weeden & Co., suggests that the ITC complaint represents a standard hardball tactic in a winner-take-all IP war between two longtime rivals. "These two companies have to throw everything at each other," said Starke, referring to the fact that the outcome of the highly publicized RFID intellectual property battle will be a strong determinant of each company's growth prospects in the RFID space.

Read the Notice of Investigation
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