|By Business Wire||
|February 19, 2013 03:00 AM EST||
A small electronics company that few in the US have ever heard of is now claiming that ASUS’s PadFone and PadFone 2 violate its patents for a laptop/cell phone combo device. The plaintiff, ExoTablet Ltd., of London, recently fired its first salvo, in what is expected to be a larger patent infringement battle with ASUS, against popular US electronics reseller Negri Electronics.
Ryan Negri, CEO of Negri Electronics (www.negrielectronics.com), confirms the company has been named as the first defendant in the ASUS patent infringement case. He warns other US retailers that they too could become litigation targets for ExoTablet and to refer all calls from that company to an attorney.
“We were extremely surprised by this proxy legal action by ExoTablet Ltd., whose real target is ASUS’s mobile products line, and do not feel we have violated any US laws by offering the PadFone for sale in the US,” Negri said. “We believe this lawsuit to be frivolous and without any merit whatsoever, and plan to defend it vigorously in the courts. The technology industry has been rife with patent trolling in recent years, which we believe is a fair and accurate characterization of this current lawsuit. To our knowledge, there have been no successful patent suits filed against ASUS itself, nor have the company’s products been embargoed from US sale. ExoTablet’s lawsuit is baseless and harmful to US consumers.”
Negri further noted the suspicious timing of the lawsuit filed against his company: “We also find it interesting that before filing its lawsuit against us, ExoTablet spent several months trying to persuade us to sell the TransPhone, the laptop/cell phone product to which it claims a patent. We declined to offer the TransPhone to our customers after determining through independent testing that the product was of inferior quality and should not be on the market. At no time did ExoTablet make any mention of a patent dispute with ASUS, nor did they serve us with a cease-and-desist letter or injunction before filing this lawsuit. Their patent infringement lawsuit came as a total surprise and we believe may be due to our refusal to sell their subpar products.”
ExoTablet Ltd. v. Negri Electronics, Inc. was filed January 25th in US District Court Northern District of Georgia.