Sendo withdraws Orange lawsuit

A patent suit that had attempted to stop Orange selling the SPV mobile phone, which is based on Microsoft software, has ended with Sendo paying some of Orange's legal costs
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

UK mobile phone handset maker Sendo has settled its patent infringement lawsuit against Orange, agreeing to contribute to Orange's legal costs. Sendo has withdrawn the lawsuit, but the terms of the settlement remain confidential, according to Sendo.

Sendo had attempted to stop sales of Orange's SPV, a smartphone based on Microsoft software, in the UK, saying that the SPV infringed on Sendo patents.

The lawsuit was filed last month, as part of the fallout of a failed smartphone project developed by Microsoft and Sendo. In a separate and ongoing lawsuit against Microsoft, Sendo alleged that the software giant stole Sendo technology and gave it to other smartphone manufacturing partners, of which one is Taiwan's High Tech Computer (HTC). HTC is the manufacturer of the SPV, as well as O2's xda wireless handheld computer and other handheld devices.

The handset maker said that the lawsuit against Orange centres on a patent relating to miniaturisation in the SPV's circuit-board design. The lawsuit was filed in the High Court of Justice in London.

Sendo had suggested that other companies selling the SPV -- sold by wireless operators under various names around the world -- could face similar legal actions.

Sendo sued Orange rather than HTC because its circuit-board patent only covers the UK, but the company has applied for the same patent in other territories worldwide, a Sendo spokeswoman told ZDNet UK. Sendo applied for the circuit-board patent in September 2001, and it was approved on 7 May of this year.

Sendo is now developing a smartphone based on the Symbian OS, which is used by manufacturers such as Nokia and Sony Ericsson.

Last week, Sendo said that Texas Instruments had agreed to license unspecified patents for future smartphone products using TI's OMAP processors.

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