Intel violating injunction, 3Com says

3Com last week told a federal court that Intel Corp. and its Xircom Inc. subsidiary were violating a preliminary injunction against the U.S. sale of products involved in a patent dispute between the companies.

Judge Tena Campbell of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah on July 25 imposed a preliminary injunction to prohibit the manufacture or sale in the U.S. of Xircom's RealPort mobile network adapters. On Thursday, 3Com filed an Order to Show Cause, claiming Intel was still offering the products for sale on its Web site and through other channels. Also Thursday, Judge Campbell denied a motion by Intel to stay the injunction.

3Com, in Santa Clara, California, claims the RealPort products violate a 3Com patent. It sued Xircom in May 2000 and asked for the preliminary injunction in February 2001. Intel completed its acquisition of Xircom in March of that year. Xircom is now an Intel brand.

The 26 products at issue in the case are network adapters for a Type III PC Card slot, which is found on most notebook PCs. They can be equipped with Ethernet, phone line and other types of physical interfaces. Because the physical ports are integrated into the PC Card, there is no need for a dongle, or short cable to connect the port component with a PC Card.

Xircom's products use an electrical contact that infringes a 3Com patent, U.S. patent No. 6,146,209, according to 3Com spokesman Robert Glazier. 3Com applied for the patent in August 1997 and it was issued to 3Com in November 2000, according to the Web site of the U.S. Patent Office.

Intel, also based in Santa Clara, has complied fully with the preliminary injunction and believes 3Com's suit has no merit, according to Intel spokeswoman Christine Chartier.

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