TI deal caused death of SPV suit

Mobile phone maker Sendo said a deal with mobile phone chipmaker Texas Instruments led to the withdrawal of its patent lawsuit against Orange
Written by Matthew Broersma, Contributor

UK mobile phone handset maker Sendo has confirmed that a deal reached last week with Texas Instruments was behind the decision call off its patent lawsuit against Orange, maker of the processor that powers Orange's SPV (Sound Pictures Video) smartphone.

Sendo said on Tuesday it had settled its patent-infringement lawsuit against Orange, and agreed to contribute to Orange's legal costs. Sendo has withdrawn the lawsuit, but the terms of the settlement remain confidential.

Sendo had attempted to stop UK sales of Orange's SPV, a smartphone based on Microsoft software, saying that the SPV infringed on Sendo patents relating to miniaturisation in the SPV's circuit-board design. The patent also relates to smartphone processors, Sendo said this week.

On Wednesday, Sendo said that a deal last week with Texas Instruments led directly to the Orange lawsuit being called off. "The patent in question is part of the deal with TI. Therefore we decided to settle with Orange," said Sendo director of communications Marijke van Hooren. "It didn't make sense to pursue the lawsuit with Orange."

The SPV is sold in a number of countries around the world by different network operators under different brand names, and is manufactured by Taiwan's High Tech Computer using OMAP processors made by TI in the US, suggesting a wide field for possible Sendo legal actions. Sendo said it sued Orange because it holds a UK patent for its invention, but other patents for the same invention were being granted in other countries. The mobile phone maker has previously said it might sue in other countries where its patent was being infringed.

However, the TI deal appears to resolve most or all legal issues around the HTC smartphone, in other countries as well as the UK, van Hooren suggested. "You could draw that conclusion," she said.

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 HTC. HTC is the manufacturer of the SPV, as well as O2's xda wireless handheld computer and other handheld devices. Sendo has not targeted the xda or any other HTC devices.

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