|Geoworks Refutes Phone.com's Lawsuit|
Posted: 26-Apr-2000 [Source: PRNewswire]
[Geoworks responds to Phone.com's claim that the Geoworks "509 patent" is "invalid and unenforceable." ]
Alemeda, Calif -- "Geoworks Corporation (Nasdaq: GWRX), a pioneer in mobile data communications services and technologies, responded today to an announcement issued by Phone.com about an intended lawsuit against Geoworks. Although the lawsuit was not sent to Geoworks, Phone.com widely distributed a legal complaint over the Internet and to the media, announcing its intention to sue Geoworks. Phone.com claims Geoworks has an "invalid and unenforceable" patent and licensing program, which Geoworks had publicly announced more than three months ago. Geoworks views Phone.com's claims as completely without merit, and in particular any alleged imminent threat of a lawsuit, as an attempt to interfere with Geoworks' established licensing program."
"We are surprised and disappointed that Phone.com has chosen this unprofessional course of action," said Dave Grannan, President and CEO of Geoworks Corporation. "We have never accused any company, including Phone.com, of infringing our patent. We created a very straightforward licensing program and announced it to the WAP Forum in accordance with the Forum's rules, which Phone.com helped establish. Now it would seem that Phone.com has decided these rules no longer apply and is pursuing a lawsuit against us, which we believe violates the spirit of the WAP Forum charter."
"Moreover, we are already in discussions with a number of leading industry participants who have recognized both our good intentions and the validity of our intellectual property rights claims," Grannan continued. "In fact, just last week we called Phone.com to set up another meeting to discuss licensing. This lawsuit shows that Phone.com's management favors litigation over the widely-accepted business solution of licensing."
"The Geoworks patent (US Patent #5,327,529) was granted to Geoworks in 1994, well before Phone.com was founded, for invention of a flexible user interface technology. The patent is believed to be implicated by products and services based on the WAP (Wireless Application Protocol) specification. Geoworks holds its patent for all devices, including mobile phones, which are based on the WAP specification and placed into the stream of commerce in the United States and Japan."
"What troubles the engineering community in our industry is that Phone.com is not being candid about their own IPR," said Adam de Boor, Chief Technology Officer of Geoworks. "Phone.com has also filed a patent with the WAP Forum which covers much of the WAP architecture and is holding this over the heads of the entire industry, without announcing a licensing program in compliance with WAP Forum rules."
"Although the decision by Phone.com to litigate is truly unfortunate, we look forward to being vindicated in court," Grannan added."
"Geoworks joined the WAP Forum in April, 1998 and declared its essential intellectual property rights (IPR) in accordance with the WAP Forum's policies in May, 1999. Since then, the company has had the patent reviewed by several leading legal firms specializing in intellectual property and patents to verify the validity of the Geoworks patent. On January 19, 2000, Geoworks announced a fair and reasonable licensing program in accordance with the WAP Forum's policies."
"Geoworks has posted on its Web site (www.geoworks.com) a white paper entitled "The Geoworks Wireless Internet Patent: Invention and Innovation in Flexible User Interface Technology." The white paper details many issues of interest to WAP Forum members and non-members, including licensing details, legal issues and technical information. More than 15,000 copies of the white paper have been downloaded from the Geoworks Web site since it was posted."
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