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3Com sues Xircom in modem patent clash

Even though 3Com's selling its modem biz...

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Just over two months after announcing it will sell off its analog modem business, the comms giant is suing Xircom for allegedly ripping off some of its patented modem technologies.

3Com's suit, filed on 25 May in Salt Lake City, Utah, claims Xircom "willfully, wantonly and deliberately" used its patented inventions in various PC Card connectivity products.

"3Com has been and will continue to be damaged by the infringing conduct," says the suit, though the latter point is questionable given the company's move to sell its low-end modem business to Far Eastern operations Accton Technology from Taiwan and Singapore's NatSteel Electronics as part of its plans to cut costs by eliminating its least margin-friendly product lines.

Xircom - in which Chipzilla has a minority shareholding - has yet to respond to the suit. And here's a coincidence, which we're sure had no part in 3Com's decision to sue, Intel's lucrative low-end network card business has been instrumental in spoiling the profitability of 3Com's own NIC operation. ®

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