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Post TI deal, Sendo and Orange settle MS phone suit

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Sendo and Orange today announced the "settlement" of Sendo's patent lawsuit against the phone network, with a singularly minimalist statement. "Sendo and Orange today announced settlement of the patent action between Sendo and Orange. Sendo have withdrawn the lawsuit and will contribute to Orange's costs. The terms of the settlement are to remain confidential", the pair statemented in harmony.

But while Sendo paying Orange's costs might be seen as a capitulation, and hence a severe blow to the company's IP protection hopes, the opposite seems to be the case. Yesterday TI announced it had struck a patent licensing deal with Sendo "related to smartphone technology" and in the department of delphic utterances, added "as a result of the licensing agreement, TI will not be changing its prices for OMAP devices".

You could conjure with the question of why somebody felt motivated to shove that one in all day, but we won't. The bottom line is that the patent that was the subject of Sendo's action is included in the TI deal, making pursuing Orange pointless from Sendo's point of view, so the action magically vanishes. It also means Sendo has gained some acknowledgement from TI of it's IP claims.

A Sendo spokeswoman said the company still does not exclude future action against companies it sees as infringing its IP, and noted that it is necessary to act on infringement of patents in order to be able to maintain them. This is simply a reiteration of previous Sendo statements, and makes it pretty clear that somewhere within those confidential terms lies an acknowledgement. Otherwise, Sendo would have difficulty in pursuing action under UK patent law against future offenders, should there be any. Not suing TI customers however thins down the potential targets a tad. ®

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