Motorola, Inc. (NYSE: MOT) has obtained an order granting summary judgment of non-infringement in a patent case brought by the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System (“University of Texas System”). The Federal District Court for the Western District of Texas issued an order finding that certain Motorola handsets do not infringe U.S. Patent No. 4,674,112 (“the ‘112 patent”).
University of Texas System, represented by Michael W. Shore of the Dallas law firm of Shore Chan Bragalone, has asserted the ‘112 patent against Motorola and over 30 additional handset manufacturers. Shore has claimed that the ‘112 patent covers software used for text messaging on nearly all mobile handsets and that University of Texas System is owed hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. In rejecting Shore’s claims, the Court found that University of Texas System is trying to interpret the claims of the ‘112 patent in a manner inconsistent with what University of Texas System’s lawyers told the Patent Office in order to obtain the grant of the ‘112 patent. “Plaintiff cannot have it one way at prosecution and another way during infringement litigation”, the Court stated.
Although the Court’s ruling is limited to certain Motorola products, the parties have subsequently agreed that all other accused products are subject to the same ruling. This agreement is expected to result in a complete dismissal of the case, although University of Texas System may appeal.
“Motorola is extremely gratified that our belief in the non-infringement of our products has been vindicated, but we are frustrated that University of Texas System’s ambush litigation tactics have caused the parties to spend millions of dollars to reach this point,” said Jonathan P. Meyer, senior vice president for Intellectual Property Law, Motorola, Inc. “The University waited silently for many years while Motorola and many other companies developed text-entry technology for mobile phones, then claimed millions of dollars in damages only as the patent expired”, Meyer said.
Motorola will defend the Court’s ruling aggressively in the event that University of Texas System files an appeal and looks forward to a final conclusion that will free Motorola’s products from these ill-conceived allegations of infringement.
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