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Logitech Sued Over Revue

Discussion in 'More News from Your Google TV News Team' started by Rickaren, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. Rickaren

    Rickaren New Member Staff Member

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    Logitech Sued Over Harmony Remotes, Logitech Revue


    07.18.11

    By Mark Hachman

    [​IMG]


    Universal Electronics said Friday that the company has filed suit against Logitech, charging Logitech with infringing seventeen patents that affect Logitech's Harmony remotes and the Logitech Revue.



    The complaint covers several members of the Logitech Harmony remote-control line, including the Harmony H300, H650, H700, H900, One, H1100, and the remote control for the Logitech Revue for Google TV, UEI said. The suit also includes Harmony remote-control apps for iOS and Android platforms.


    Logitech said that it disputed the merits of the UEI claim and would challenge it in court.
    "The decision to proceed with this patentinfringement filing was based on careful consideration of all of the issues," said Richard A. Firehammer Jr., UEI's senior vice president and general counsel, in a statement. "UEI has positive business relationships with much of the consumer electronics industry. Nevertheless, the decision was made to look to the court system to ensure that UEI is fairly compensated for the use of its technology. We are confident that the strength of our intellectual property will be upheld."


    Both companies acknowledged that Logitech had licensed the patents from UEI beginning in 2004, via a renewable license that Logitech said was done to settle a lawsuit against the Logitech Harmony remotes that was filed by UEI, regarding the Harmony remotes.
    But both sides failed to renew the license after the most recent period expired, leaving the matter to the court.
    Prior to the expiration of the license, throughout the remainder of 2010 and until the filing of this complaint, UEI sought to negotiate reasonable business terms for the renewal of the license agreement but Logitech was not willing to do so, UEI said in a statement. Meanwhile, Logitech continued selling its products that were previously covered under the license agreement without permission or proper payment, according to the lawsuit.


    For its part, Logitech said that it declined to renew the license on the same terms because the originally contested patents "had either expired or were licensed during the patentapplication stage and, after the patents were granted, were determined to be inapplicable to Logitech products," Logitech said.
    Logitech also said that four of the patents named in the suit were newly raised, and had not been part of the original suit. Three patents had since expired, Logitech added. The remaining ten patents in the lawsuit include some that Logitech said that it had determined to be inapplicable to its products, and some that Logitech licensed as inapplicable patentapplications, the company said.


    "Logitech has a strong intellectual property (IP) portfolio for remote-control technology," said Ashish Arora, Logitech vice president and general manager of the Digital Home business unit, in a statement. "With the acquisition of our Harmony remote control business in 2004, which has become the leading brand in advanced universal remotes, we obtained patent applications on that technology that have subsequently become issued patents. We have also developed our own new patented technology and acquired additional patents.


    "Logitech respects the intellectual property rights of others, and has a history of purchasing or licensing patents when needed," Arora added. "However, we are confident that Logitech does not need a license from UEI. We believe that UEI's lawsuit is without merit and we are confident that we will prevail in court."

    SOURCE
     
  2. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    This will be an interesting lawsuit to follow. I switched from using UEI One-for-All remotes, upgradeable by JPI, to Logitech Harmony remotes some years ago. The user developed and supported JP1 process worked fine but wasn't simple enough for me and I haven't looked back. I always thought UEI made powerful inexpensive remotes. Whether or not there is any basis for the patent infringement suit isn't even somehing I could speculate about. It may be some time before we read anything about the lawsuit.
     
  3. sarreq

    sarreq Member

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    i'm surprised UEI still exists, i haven't seen a One4All in years.
     
  4. ChrisG8

    ChrisG8 Well-Known Member

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    I believe the UEI made remotes are still available and that UEI is still a big OEM remote manufacturer. Remotes for various STBs, satellite receivers and DVRs are made by UEI. I like the remote controls a lot and JPI overcomes the limited memory for learning but I like Harmony remotes even better so I made the switch.
     
  5. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    They've always been a technology company first and foremost. In fact, almost every remote uses a little a little bit of their technology within them.

    Here are a couple of the newer remotes with UEI technology inside.



    $wn000528.jpg $ARRX18G_1.jpg
     
  6. eferz

    eferz Well-Known Member

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    I think its funny you say that, as I'm heading the opposite direction.

    Harmony Remotes are nice in that they make an interface with is easy for the average user to use. However, since Logitech acquired Intrigue Technologies, they moved away customization in the Harmony Activities which allowed you to control sequences within them. They're dumbing it down for the average consumer and making less desirable for the advance user. That's why the Harmony H688 is still a sought after product on eBay, because it still has the original Harmony customization that is missing from the Logitech Remotes today.

    Personally, I now prefer the UEI remotes which can be "hacked" using the tools from the JP1 website. I recently bought a Insignia replacement remote for $14 which has the compatible JP1.3 header inside. This remote can run circles around of even the newest and most expensive Harmony Remotes in terms of the functionality and price ratio. To get this level control requires a certain level of technological expertise that even I am lacking. However, with enough time and help from the other JP1 forum users, I'll be able to acclimate.
     

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