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UTStarcom Battles Starent

UTStarcom Inc. (Nasdaq: UTSI) is locked in a patent infringement battle with wireless router startup Starent Networks Corp., Unstrung has learned.

The Alameda, Calif.-based incumbent has filed a lawsuit against Starent, claiming that its ST-16 Intelligent Mobile Gateway product infringes two UTStarcom patents.

Details of the lawsuit were revealed in UTStarcom’s latest 10-Q quarterly report with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), issued earlier this week.

“On June 3, 2004, the Company served its complaint on Starent,” states the document. “On July 30, 2004, Starent filed and served its answer and counterclaims. In its counterclaims, Starent asserts that the patents are not infringed, are invalid, and are unenforceable and asserts unfair competition against the Company.”

The document adds that “an initial case management conference” is scheduled to be held on October 12, 2004.

"Starent has investigated these allegations and believes that there is no claim that is valid and infringed by Starent's products," writes Andy Capener, director of marketing, in an email. "The companies are in discussions to resolve this. Should this lawsuit proceed, Starent will vigorously pursue it, and are confident in prevailing."

Founded in August 2000, the vendor has built up an impressive customer base and established itself as the lone startup operating in the GGSN (GPRS Gateway Support Node) and PDSN (Packet Data Serving Node) market, battling against the might of incumbent vendors like Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). (See Starent Wins at Verizon PR, Starent's Startup Double-Up, and China Unicom Picks Starent.)

— Justin Springham, Senior Editor, Europe, Unstrung

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