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Motorola Wins Patent Lawsuit Over Wireless Technology

March 30, 1995

WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) _ A federal court jury found on Wednesday that Motorola Inc. did not infringe on Interdigital Communications Corp.’s patents on digital wireless communications technology.

Motorola argued the patents Interdigital holds on the technology 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,″ Michael Stolarski, a Motorola attorney, said.

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 thta 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. The technology converts voices and other data into a series of ones and zeros before transmitting it in time slots over digitized airwaves.

TDMA is expected to propel satellite-based telephone systems such as Motorola’s proposed Iridium network and other wireless communications devices into the next century.

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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