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Motorola Wins Patent Lawsuit Over Wireless Technology

March 30, 1995

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) _ A federal court jury on Wednesday ruled Motorola Inc. did not infringe on patents held by InterDigital Communications Corp., a decision that may have broader implications on key technology for sending digital voice, video and data signals through the air.

Motorola argued the wireless patents InterDigital holds were ``obvious″ to those in the industry, meaning the technology was common knowledge.

InterDigital already has collected about $70 million from other manufacturers, including AT&T, Matsushita and Siemens on its patent claims.

The 10-person jury in U.S. District Court in Wilmington found after a three-week trial that Motorola did not infringe on any of the four patents held by InterDigital that were at issue in the case. The jury also ruled the patents invalid.

``We are very happy with the jury’s decision. We believe it justifies the position we’ve taken throughout this case,″ said Michael Stolarski, a Motorola attorney.

Wolf Pavlok, a senior vice president at Motorola, said in a statement that, ``If left unchallenged, InterDigital’s unfounded demands would have siphoned millions of dollars away from the growth of wireless communications technology as it enters a new phase in the U.S. market,″

InterDigital’s chief executive officer, William Burns, said the company would appeal the decision. He said the loss was not critical to InterDigital’s financial health.

``We believe that this verdict by the jury is an aberration and is wrong and that a miscarriage of justice to InterDigital and its shareholders has occurred,″ Burns said.

At issue was InterDigital’s claim to patents on Time Division Multiple Access, or TDMA, a technique for efficient use of radio wave space that originated with satellites and is now being adopted for cellular and other mobile communication.

TDMA is expected to help satellite-based telephone systems such as the Motorola-led Iridium network now under construction.

InterDigital is a struggling company based in King of Prussia, Pa. It lost $34 million on sales of $11.7 million in 1994. Motorola is based in Schaumburg, Ill.

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