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Microsoft, Belkin settle patent dispute

Pair strike deal over mouse technology

Computer peripheral maker Belkin said it has settled a patent infringement complaint brought against it by software giant Microsoft.

"We are glad to have reached a settlement and we are satisfied with the outcome," said Belkin spokesperson Melody Chalaban, who declined to provide details of the settlement terms.

On August 1, Microsoft filed a patent-infringement complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) that said Belkin was importing products that infringed on a Microsoft patent for peripheral device technology. According to Microsoft, Belkin uses a technology called "U2" in several of its mouse products. Microsoft's patented U2 technology enables a peripheral to automatically sense whether the device is being plugged into a PS2 or USB (Universal Serial Bus) port on a computer and then make the connection.

Microsoft filed the complaint after failing to reach agreement in licensing discussions with Belkin over more than two years, said Tom Burt, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel for Microsoft, when the ITC complaint was filed.

Microsoft said it filed the complaint with the ITC rather than in a US court because it wanted to prevent Belkin from bringing infringing products into the US in the first place. Although Belkin is a US company, the products in question are manufactured outside the country, Microsoft said.


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