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By | Kelly Fiveash 18th December 2008 11:57

Microsoft settles lawsuit against Taiwanese mouse maker

When mice ruled the world...

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Microsoft has settled a patent infringement case that it brought against Taiwanese computer peripherals vendor Primax Electronics Ltd in July this year.

The software company said yesterday that Primax has entered into a “non-exclusive licensing agreement covering Microsoft’s patents for U2 and Tilt Wheel technology”.

Past and future sales in the US of the relevant products cover the deal, terms of which have been kept secret.

Microsoft wheeled out its vice president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property Horacio Gutierrez to explain why it’s a really, really good thing Primax had agreed to settle the case.

“This particular program around our U2 and Tilt Wheel innovations and technologies, now with more than 30 licensees (manufacturers and retail brands) in the mouse and keyboard industry, is an excellent example of how IP collaboration encourages shared industry success by allowing licensees to incorporate innovative technologies, powered by Microsoft IP, into their products to provide enhanced features to their customers,” Gutierrez breathlessly asserted.

Primax could not be reached at time of writing. It was founded in 1984 and has subsidiaries in the US, Hong Kong, Japan and China. However, there has been no activity on the company’s website since late last year when it was ingloriously delisted from Taiwan's stock exchange on 5 December 2007.

MS has been pursuing Primax for years. It made “repeated attempts” to strike a licensing deal with the Taiwanese vendor before issuing a lawsuit in the US District Court in Northern California and before the International Trade Commission, which protects US markets from unfair trade practices. ®

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