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Entropic, ViXS Bury The Hatchet

Following a string of lawsuits about alleged patent violations and unfair trade practices, chipmakers Entropic Communications and ViXS Systems announced Monday that they have settled all litigation and agreed to execute cross-licensing deals that cover patents linked to the litigation.

The peace agreement smooths out what has been a rocky relationship between rivals that has grown more competitive in part because both companies make silicon for Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA), a high-speed home networking platform for set-tops, gateways and Ethernet-over-coax bridge devices.

Last May, Entropic targeted ViXS in a California district court, alleging that its competitor had infringed on two of its “core” home coax networking patents.

In April of this year, ViXS filed a complaint at the U.S. International Trade Commission alleging that Entropic had engaged in unfair trade practices by using certain set-tops, gateways and other devices that, it claimed, infringed on four asserted patents. ViXS also complained that Entropic's timing was suspect becasue the suit was targeting ViXS as the Toronto-based company was in the midst of an initial public offering. ViXS's complaint also sought to halt the importation into the U.S. and sale after importation products that use Entropic’s MoCA silicon, and included DirecTV, Wistron NeWeb Corp., and CyberTAN on the list of defendants. The settlement announced Monday dismissed actions against those defendants, the companies said.

Other terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

"Today's settlement allows both companies to move on as two of the industry's innovation leaders," said Patrick Henry, president and CEO, Entropic, in a statement. "We have set aside our differences while addressing the needs of our customers, our shareholders and the industry."

"We are pleased to find an amicable and effective solution to the litigation with Entropic," added Sally Daub, president and CEO, ViXS. "We expect to continue the productive collaboration the companies have established over the years."