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Strategic CIO // IT Strategy
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7/31/2008
04:01 PM
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Microsoft Sues Mouse Maker Primax

Microsoft accuses Primax of using several patented technologies developed for keyboards and mice.

Microsoft has sued Taiwanese computer peripherals manufacturer Primax Electronics for patent infringement, the company said in a statement Wednesday.

In the suit, filed with the International Trade Commission, Microsoft accuses Primax of using several patented Microsoft technologies in its products -- including the U2, Tilt Wheel, and Magnifier features that Microsoft developed for keyboards and mice.

Microsoft said it has made "repeated" attempts to contact Primax to persuade it to sign a licensing agreement for the technologies.

"Microsoft has an open intellectual property licensing policy, but in situations such as this, in which a reasonable licensing agreement cannot be reached despite our best efforts, we have no choice but to pursue legal action to protect our innovations," said Horacio Gutierrez, Microsoft's VP and deputy general counsel for Intellectual Property and Licensing, in a statement.

Microsoft said that more than 20 vendors have properly licensed the technologies for use in their peripherals to date.

"Primax's practice of using our innovations without taking a patent license is unfair to the many companies that have already licensed our technology, so we are taking action to protect both our partners and our innovations," Microsoft said.

The U2 technology is designed to facilitate easier connections between peripherals and a PC via either a USB or PS2 connection. The Tilt Wheel allows people to use their entire mouse as a third button, to simplify interactions with complex documents such as spreadsheets and scientific applications. The Magnifier lets users enlarge screen areas simply by pointing and clicking.

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