Toronto, ON -- Psion Teklogix, (LSE: PON), a global provider of solutions for mobile computing and wireless data collection, and member of the automatic identification and data capture industry, today announced that judgment was granted in favour of Psion Teklogix Corp., Symbol Technologies, Inc., and other leading members of the auto ID industry against the Lemelson Medical, Educational & Research Foundation, Limited Partnership.
In 1999, Psion Teklogix Corp. and five other automatic identification companies Symbol Technologies, Inc. (NYSE: SBL), Accu-Sort Systems, Inc.; Intermec Technologies Corporation, (NYSE: UNA); Metrologic Instruments, Inc. (NASDAQ: MTLG); and Zebra Technologies Corporation (NASDAQ: ZBRA) took action and jointly filed suit in federal court in Nevada against the Lemelson Partnership. The action was commenced to protect auto ID users from claims by the Lemelson Partnership demanding one-time license fees for certain so-called "bar code" patents transferred to the Lemelson Partnership by the late Jerome H. Lemelson.
"Psion Teklogix joined this legal battle with other industry players to help protect our U.S. customers from the infringement claims of Lemelson," said Norbert Dawalibi, president and chief executive officer, Psion Teklogix. "This strong judgment is a great victory for our customers and for all members of the automatic identification industry."
Psion Teklogix and other industry members sought a declaration from the courts stating that certain patents asserted by the Lemelson Partnership against end users of bar code equipment were invalid, unenforceable and not infringed. In 2000, the case was consolidated with a similar case filed by Cognex Corp., a maker of machine vision systems.
Although there are several other pending actions involving the Lemelson Partnership and other industry groups relating to other technologies, such as machine vision systems and semiconductor manufacturing, this is believed to be the only proceeding focusing solely on the bar code-related claims being asserted by the Lemelson Partnership.
In his decision, Judge Pro wrote, "Lemelson's patented system could not be used to read a bar code, nor does the Lemelson common specification reveal any teaching or suggestion of catching information or identifying an article by the decoding of encoded information." The decision also states, "... Lemelson's delay in securing the asserted patent claims is unexplained and unreasonable. Plaintiff's ample evidence of intervening rights vividly illustrates the type of public and private injury which can result from an unreasonable delay in prosecuting patent claims. As a consequence, Lemelson's asserted claims must be deemed unenforceable...."
Psion Teklogix believes an appeal is likely to be filed by the Lemelson partnership. Psion Teklogix and the other industry members believe that Judge Pro's ruling would be upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
Judge Pro's ruling against the Lemelson Medical, Educational & Research Foundation, Limited Partnership follows a 27-day bench trial under way from November 2002 to January 2003 in Las Vegas.
Psion Teklogix is a global provider of solutions for mobile computing and wireless data collection. For more information, visit www.psionteklogix.com.