IRVINE, Calif. -- Intersil Corp. and Symbol Technologies Inc. today announced they are joining forces to fight Proxim Inc., which has sued both companies as part of an effort to enforce patented technology for 2.4-GHz wireless local area networks.
Wireless chip supplier Intersil here and mobile systems maker Symbol in Holtsville, N.Y., said they have agreed to "combat Proxim's allegations and legal actions" in U.S. courts in Massachusetts and Delaware, as well as before the International Trade Commission (ITC).
In March, Proxim announced lawsuits and a patent-enforcement campaign aimed at protecting its direct-sequence technology, which the Sunnyvale, Calif., company says is used in IEEE 802.11b wireless networks (see March 8 story).
Intersil and others companies have promised to fight the suits and Proxim's patent claims. However, last week Proxim announced its first licensing agreement with Compex Inc., resulting from the patent-enforcement efforts (see May 10 story).
Both Intersil and Symbol Technologies denied infringement of any Proxim patents. Symbol said it was now counter suing Proxim for infringement of four of its own wireless LAN patents. In addition, Symbol has filed a motion to disqualify the law firm representing Proxim in the Delaware federal lawsuit because of its past association with Symbol.
"Symbol is seeking injunctive relief as well as damages against Proxim's RF products, particularly its non-standard proprietary offerings," said Leonard Goldner, executive vice president and general counsel of Symbol.
Intersil said it has also taken several actions against Proxim in recent weeks. The Irvine company filed a declaratory judgment action in the Delaware U.S. court, alleging that Proxim is liable for acts of unfair competition, breach of contract and patent misuse.
"We believe that Proxim's claims against Intersil and the purchasers of our semiconductors are wholly without merit and constitute a calculated move on Proxim's part to shift attention away from the recent abandonment by leading companies of Proxim's HomeRF approach in favor of Intersil's solutions based on the 802.11 global standard," said Steve Moran, vice president and general counsel of Intersil. "Our Prism devices do not infringe any valid claims of the patents asserted by Proxim, who is also a customer of our Prism chip set.
"We will prosecute this case, both defensively and offensively, to the fullest extent that the law allows," Moran added.