Intermec Corp., a UNOVA Inc. company, has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Matrics Inc., relating to Intermec's RFID (radio frequency identification) patents. The complaint, filed in Federal District Court in Delaware, alleges Matrics' RFID products and systems infringe intellectual property owned by Intermec and asks for a reasonable royalty.
Intermec acquired its RFID technology from IBM Research, through acquisition in 1997 of Amtech Corp. and through its own extensive investment in RFID research and development. Intermec's complaint alleges Matrics has infringed on a number of its patents, each of which is based on inventions made, filed, and issued or pending before Matrics was founded.
Intermec offers a complete licensing program for companies that want to use Intermec intellectual property. "Intermec believes strongly in the need to balance two responsibilities," says Tom Miller, president of Intermec. "We are committed to making sure multiple suppliers have access to technology, and we provide that through our licensing program. We also must safeguard the rights of companies that invest in development of new technologies that lead to market advancement."
RFID is a complement to industry's current bar code-based tracking systems, allowing companies to automatically track inventory throughout an entire supply chain. RFID automatic data collection typically does not require line of sight or manual scanning as do most bar code-based systems. For example, information from RFID-tagged cases on a pallet can be read automatically using fixed, mobile or handheld readers rather than requiring individual bar code scanning. Read/write technology adds the ability to change and update the information on each tag as it proceeds, providing new levels of up-to-date information for better decision making.