Draka Comteq fires back at Furukawa/OFS

Aug. 20, 2007
AUGUST 17, 2007 -- Dueling patent infringement suits imply a settlement won't be reached soon.

AUGUST 17, 2007 -- Furukawa Electric North America (FENA) and its subsidiary OFS Fitel recently announced they had reached an "extremely favourable" settlement of a lawsuit they had filed against FiberCore for patent infringement. Draka Comteq Americas, Inc., facing a similar patent suit, doesn't appear to be in the mood to settle any time soon.

Draka Comteq Americas, a joint venture of Alcatel-Lucent and Draka Holding NV, says it "completely and categorically denied all allegations that it has infringed any patents allegedly owned by FENA." To back up its claim, the company has asserted counterclaims based on its position that the FENA patents are unenforceable. It also filed its own patent infringement suit against FENA for good measure.

FENA filed the original patent infringement suit in North Carolina Federal Court. Draka filed its patent infringement case against FENA OFS Fitel in the U.S District Court in Marshall, TX. Draka Comteq Americas claims in its countersuit that its competitor violates at least eight U.S. patents. It requests both monetary damages and injunctive relief.

"Draka Comteq Americas is an industry leader in developing relevant intellectual property. As such, we take our position surrounding intellectual property, as well as our obligations as a good corporate citizen, very seriously," stated Jacques Blanc, COO for Draka Comteq. "Our response in the North Carolina lawsuit demonstrates our strong belief that Draka Comteq Americas has not infringed anyone's patent rights and that we will be totally vindicated in this proceeding."

Blanc added, "Indeed, our review of this matter demonstrated that it was actually FENA and OFS Fitel -- and not us -- that were engaging in patent infringement, and that they were doing so by violating numerous Draka Comteq Americas patents. These improper acts of infringement necessitated our commencement of the lawsuit in Texas, where we are confident we will prevail."

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