Patent spat settled

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Harris Corporation announced today that it has reached a global settlement with NEC Corporation and its subsidiaries related to patent litigation.

In September 2004, NEC sued Harris in US District Court for the northern district of California and Canada's Federal Court for alleged patent violations of wireless communications technology in the United States and Canada, demanding compensation from and seeking a court injunction against Harris.

In conjunction with the settlement, Harris has agreed to dismiss its patent infringement lawsuit filed in US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. Similarly, NEC has agreed to dismiss its patent infringement lawsuits filed in US District Court for the Northern District of California and the Federal Court of Canada.

As a result of the settlement, Harris has granted NEC a royalty-bearing, non-exclusive license for its telephone switching patents including patents for Private Branch Exchanges and Key Telephone Systems. Harris developed the technology for most of the referenced patents in its former telecom switch business.

NEC has also granted Harris a royalty-bearing, non-exclusive license under NEC's Digital Microwave Radio patents. In addition, NEC agreed to sell, and Harris agreed to purchase certain of its PBX patents. Also, the parties agreed to a patent cross license as to all other product categories. Other detailed terms of the settlement remain.

"We are pleased to reach a favourable settlement with NEC Corporation regarding our patent rights," said Gene Cavallucci, Harris vice president-general counsel. "Harris is committed to protecting its valuable patent portfolio and intellectual property, now considerably enhanced by our purchase of PBX patents from NEC. The addition of these patents further strengthens our position as a provider of government and commercial communications systems and services."