Dell and LogMeIn are the targets of an intellectual-property lawsuit by Canadian firm 01 Communique Laboratory, which asserts the two companies infringed on its patent for technology related to a private communication portal. The lawsuit has been filed in U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division.
The products at issue include LogMeIn Free, LogMeIn Pro2, LogMeIn Ignition and Dell Remote Access. The patent in question is U.S. Patent No. 6,928,479.
"Our plan is to participate in the growth of the remote access and communications industry by leveraging our patents," Andrew Cheung, 01 Communique's president and CEO, wrote in a Sept. 9 statement. "We believe very strongly that competition should be based on innovation and respecting intellectual property rights."
The patent's abstract details "a system, computer product and method for providing a private communication portal at a first computer connected to a network of computers." The patent application was filed in June 2000, and the patent was issued in August 2005.
LogMeIn bills itself as providing solutions for remote control and file sharing, among other functions. In a similar vein, Dell Remote Access allows for remote access to users' PCs.
This patent-infringement lawsuit adds to a bevy of others filed against major tech companies in the past few weeks. On Aug. 27, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen opened litigation against Apple, Google and nine other companies he claims violated patents developed by his Interval Research Corp., a technology incubator.
"Paul thinks this is important, not just to him but to the researchers at Interval who created this technology," a spokesperson for Allen told the Wall Street Journal at the time. "We recognize that innovation has a value, and patents are a way to reflect that."
Allen's suit did not target Microsoft, which nonetheless is battling a separate intellectual-infringement case filed against it by Canadian tech firm i4i. In late August, Microsoft appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court, seeking to overturn earlier rulings that both Microsoft Word 2003 and 2007 violated i4i's patents for custom XML. In April, a federal appeals court rejected Microsoft's request for a multiple-judge review of the lawsuit, which resulted in a nearly $300 million judgment.
Popular technology segments, notably smartphones, have also attracted their share of recent litigation. Nokia and Apple have filed tit-for-tat legal complaints against one another in 2010, alleging violations of their respective patents; Apple has filed a similar lawsuit against HTC, alleging violations of patents related to the iPhone's interface, architecture and hardware.