Intermec Counter-Counter-Sues Symbol

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The battle rages between archrivals Intermec and Symbol as Intermec sued Symbol last in apparent retaliation for Symbol's suit against Intermec two weeks earlier.

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This article was originally published by RFID Update.

March 25, 2005—The battle rages between archrivals Intermec and Symbol as Intermec sued Symbol last week in apparent retaliation for Symbol’s suit against Intermec two weeks earlier. According to an announcement posted on Intermec’s website, Symbol is unlawfully using Intermec intellectual property in “a substantial part of [its] data capture line.” Specifically cited is the following IP:

  • a coherent, integrated wireless data capture system capable of distributing data over a network
  • portable, battery-powered data processing devices capable of running a multi-tasking operating system
  • handheld portable data capture devices with graphical user interfaces (GUI)
  • the ability to accept handwritten information and the ability to process that information

Intermec and Symbol had signed a OEM agreement a number of years ago in which they agreed not to sue each other over questions of intellectual property. But Symbol’s March 11th suit against Intermec breached that agreement, according to Intermec President Tom Miller, allowing Intermec to sue Symbol back. In Miller’s words, Symbol’s suit “frees us to defend ourselves against Symbol’s claims and to prosecute our own patent infringement claims against Symbol.”

Symbol not only sued, it also indefinitely halted supplying Intermec with its laser scan engines. The move seemed abrupt, and Miller has sought to assuage possible customer fears that without the Symbol laser scanning technology Intermec will not be able to continue manufacturing some of its key products: “Intermec had been anticipating [Symbol’s supply contract cancellation] for some time. Symbol’s decision will have no effect on Intermec business operations.”

For background on the Intermec-Symbol saga, see our articles Symbol Sues Intermec and Symbol vs. Intermec, “Clash of the Titans”.

Read the announcement on Intermec’s site