3Com Serves Xircom with Patent Lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (08/18/2000) - 3Com Corp. said Friday it has served Xircom Inc. with a patent infringement lawsuit, accusing the rival networking vendor of illegally using patented 3Com technology to make PC Cards.

3Com filed the lawsuit against Xircom on May 31 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Utah, but held off on serving Xircom with the suit in the hopes of negotiating a settlement.

Parties occasionally engage in the process of filing a lawsuit without actually serving it as way of prompting the other side into discussions. When it became apparent that talks between the companies weren't going anywhere, 3Com served Xircom with the lawsuit, 3Com spokesman said.

Xircom denied any wrongdoing and said it will fight the lawsuit vigorously.

"We've been investigating the claims, we enlisted the help of a patent expert, and we concluded that our products do not infringe on their patents," said Kevin Fillo, corporate counsel for Xircom. Xircom has yet to receive official notice that it has been served with the lawsuit, Fillo added. It will have 30 days to respond after it receives notice that it has been served.

The suit alleges that Xircom infringed on two sets of 3Com patents, both of which relate to fairly arcane technologies used to make computer modems and other types of PC Cards.

Xircom was served with the lawsuit one day after it launched a new ADSL (asynchronous digital subscriber line) PC modem. [See "Xircom Launches ADSL USB Modem," Aug. 17.]3Com, in Santa Clara, California, can be reached at +1-408-326-5000 or at http://www.3com.com/. Xircom, based in Thousand Oaks, California, can be reached at +1-805-376-9300 or at http://www.xircom.com/.

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