ALLENTOWN, Pa. -- Agere Systems Inc. today announced it was suing Proxim Inc. for patent infringement in a growing legal fight over technology rights in high-speed wireless local area networks.
Agere--formerly Lucent Microelectronics--said it is suing Proxim in a Delaware federal court, alleging infringement of U.S. patents covering multi-rate wireless data communications, antenna apparatus, and tungsten metallization. Agere said these technologies are being used in Proxim's wireless data networking products.
The suit comes in response to Proxim's attempts to enforce its patent on direct-sequence technology that is used in 2.4-GHz wireless LANs. Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Proxim claims that its patented technology is being used in wireless network products conforming to the IEEE 802.11b standard. It is suing a half dozen companies and pressing for new licensing agreements (see March 8 story).
A legal alliance between chip maker Intersil Corp. and network systems supplier Symbol Technologies Inc. is now fighting Proxim's patent claims (see May 14 story). Proxim is also suing 3Com, Cisco, SMC, and Wayport in U.S. district courts. The company has also filed a complaint before the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) in an attempt to stop the importation of wireless LANs that allegedly violate its patents.
Agere said it was intervening on behalf of its customers, which have been accused by Proxim of violating the direct-sequence technology patent. Agere said it is seeking monetary damages from Proxim and an injunction against the Silicon Valley company.
"After a number of attempts to negotiate with Proxim, we are left with no other choice but to file this lawsuit," said Judith Sheft, vice president of intellectual property and compliance at Agere. "We are seeking fair compensation for our intellectual property from Proxim."
Agere maintains that Proxim's actions before the ITC are without merit, said Sheft, who added, "We intend to vigorously support our customers against Proxim"
An immediate response from Proxim was not available.