Universal Remote Control Announces Progress in Pending Patent Infringement Litigation with Universal Electronics
Universal Remote Control, Inc. (“URC”) announced today that the California Central District Court on Monday dismissed two more Universal ...
Universal Remote Control, Inc. (“URC”) announced today that the California Central District Court on Monday dismissed two more Universal Electronics, Inc. (“UEI”) patents on summary judgment, bringing the total number of dismissed patents to three of the four originally in dispute. The court also permitted many of URC's patent misuse defenses to proceed to trial, despite UEI’s attempt to dismiss them on summary judgment.
The court ruled on summary judgment in response to motions filed by both URC and UEI. The court based its rulings as a matter of law, in advance of trial, on the absence of fact issues that need to be tried.
The litigation started in March 2012 when UEI accused URC of infringing four of its patents. Following the filing of that lawsuit, UEI Chairman and CEO Paul Arling stated in a press release dated March 5, 2012, “[w]e spend significant resources in research and development, and are proud of our innovation and industry leadership in control technology.”
URC was successful in the early stages of the proceeding. The court declared the first of the three dismissed patents invalid in February 2013. With the dismissal of two more patents this week, URC believes that the court will similarly find the one remaining patent invalid and not infringed. URC believes this patent is invalid because it is based on the same method Goldstar introduced in 1991, five years before UEI applied for a patent on this method as its own invention. The patent is based upon an uncommon remote control programming method of pressing a number button (0 – 9) in sequence until a matching control code is found.
URC is a high technology, cutting edge company that develops and manufactures control and home automation products for the cable, retail and custom markets. URC’s current lineup includes home theatre products such as multi-zone amplifiers, streaming network players, and whole house audio/video solutions, and also lighting and climate control, surveillance cameras, in-wall touch screen controllers and home automation systems.
URC respects the intellectual property rights of others. URC believes, however, that products and publications in public domain cannot and should not be patented by a third party as their own invention. URC continues to believe that the proper place for competition is in the marketplace by serving its customers, not in court.