Toronto firm sues Dell, LogMeIn for patent infringement

Toronto-based 01 Communique Laboratory Inc. has launched a patent infringement lawsuit Thursday against Dell Inc. and LogMeIn Inc. regarding a patent issued in 2005.

The provider of remote access offerings like online meetings, remote computing and IT support is seeking future and past damages back to when the patent was issued five years ago, said Andrew Cheung, president & CEO of 01 Communique.

“We believe very strongly that competition should be based on innovation and respecting intellectual property rights,” said Cheung.

01 Communique’s remote access products include I’m InTouch and I’m OnCall.

01 Communique is claiming that Dell’s Dell Remote Access and LogMeIn’s LogMeIn Free, LogMeIn Pro2 and LogMeIn Ignition infringe upon its patent which relates to the system, computer product and method for providing a private communication portal.

A spokesperson for Dell issued the following statement to ComputerWorld Canada: “As a matter of practice, Dell does not comment on pending litigations.”

No comment was received from LogMeIn at press time.

01 Communique has a similar ongoing lawsuit against Citrix Systems Inc. since 2006 regarding Citrix’s GoToMyPC and GoToMeeting products. Two months ago, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a decision that the patent was indeed valid following a request for patent re-examination by Citrix.

Cheung said the lawsuit against Citrix was “held in limbo” for the past two-and-a-half years during which the case was stayed pending the USPTO’s re-examination, but now the company has applied to the courts to lift the stay.

“It means we can resume our intellectual property protection process,” said Cheung. “That is now moving again.”

Another Toronto-based IT company, i4i Inc., has been embroiled in a patent infringement lawsuit against Microsoft Corp since 2007. In July 2010, the USPTO certified the validity of i4i’s XML patents after a request for re-examination by Microsoft. Earlier in March, a three-judge panel had upheld a $240-million judgment against the company.

Cheung said intellectual property infringement is “a problem” in the high-tech industry and seeing i4i’s success in court is a confidence booster for 01 Communique. “The i4i lawsuit is very encouraging,” said Cheung.

01 Communique has an office in Arlington, VA. The company has 21 staff.

Follow Kathleen Lau on Twitter: @KathleenLau

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