Symbol and Intermec sue each other for patent infringement

Symbol Technologies Inc. and Intermec Technologies Corp. have each filed patent infringement suits against each other. The legal wrangling began when Symbol filed against Intermec, alleging Intermec infringed Symbol’s patents covering wireless communications technologies. In the process, Symbol terminated its supplier relationship with Intermec for laser scan engines, which Intermec embeds in its bar code scanning equipment.

Symbol alleges that Intermec infringes Symbol’s patents relating to the wireless communications standard 802.11, also known as Wi-Fi. The lawsuit also covers Intermec’s use of Symbol Wi-Fi patents in Intermec’s bar code scanning terminals.

Intermec says there is no basis for this lawsuit, and believes the suit is an apparent reaction to Intermec’s radio frequency identification (RFID) patent-infringement lawsuit against Matrics Inc., filed in June 2004. Symbol acquired the lawsuit in September 2004 when it purchased Matrics. Intermec has charged that Matrics made, used, sold and offered for sale in the U.S. RFID products that infringe Intermec’s RFID patents.

In response, Intermec has filed a suite charging Symbol with infringement of Intermec intellectual property related to wireless access, terminal and software technologies. The patents cover: 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; and handheld portable data capture devices with graphical user interfaces (GUI), the ability to accept handwritten information and the ability to process that information.

Intermec also filed responses to the earlier Symbol claims, denying that Symbol had the legal right to terminate the laser scan engine supply agreement and asserting that Symbol wrongfully terminated that agreement.

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