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8/1/2006
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Microsoft Files Patent Infringement Claim Against Belkin

At issue is Microsoft's U2 technology, which allows peripherals such as a mouse to automatically sense whether a device is plugging into a PS2 or a USB port and connect to it.

Microsoft has filed a patent infringement complaint against peripherals maker Belkin with the International Trade Commission.

In the complaint, filed Tuesday, Microsoft claims that Belkin, a Compton, Calif.-based supplier of cables and networking, PC and other computer accessories, violated a Microsoft patent by importing a product that allegedly infringes on the software giant's U2 technology.

Microsoft said it currently licenses U2 technology to several firms, including KYE Systems, Fellowes, Targus, Monterey International and Behavior Technology Computer and has tried unsuccessfully for two years to engage Belkin in similar licensing negotiations.

Microsoft attorneys said in a statement that they aren't seeking monetary damages but will seek to stop Belkin from importing relevant products until Belkin licenses the Redmond, Wash., company's U2 technology.

"Belkin's use of this technology without paying for it is unfair to companies who invent, respect and pay for this property," Tom Burt, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for Microsoft, said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Microsoft's U2 technology enables peripherals such as a mouse to automatically sense whether a device is plugging into a PS2 or a USB port and connect to it.

A Belkin spokeswoman said Tuesday the company didn't want to comment on the matter because it hasn't yet been served with Microsoft's complaint.

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