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URC Claims Victory in Patent Spat

Universal Remote Control (URC) said a California court has awarded the maker of remote controls $4.6 million n requested attorneys’ fees and costs stemming from what it says is a “failed” patent infringement action brought on by rival company Universal Electronics Inc. (UEI).

UEI filed a suit in 2012 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California alleging that URC was infringing on four patents. UEI followed with a suit in June 2013 in the same court alleging that URC was infringing on nine other patents.

The court award announced today pertains only to the suit UEI filed in 2012; the suit filed in 2013 is in a stay at the court while the U.S. patent office reviews the validity of the patents that are used in the suit, a URC official said via email. 

 “Over the course of the proceedings, which concluded with a jury trial and verdict in URC's favor on all issues tried, all of the claims that had been asserted against URC were dismissed on various and multiple grounds,” URC said in a release. “The net result is that all four of UEI's asserted patents have been held either invalid, not infringed, unenforceable, and/or subject to no damages claims.”

UEI has been asked for comment.

UEI patents asserted in the suit it filed in March 2012 were:

·         No. 5,414,426: "Favorite Key Macro Command and Chained Macro Command in a Remote Control;"

·         No. 5,568,367: "Remote Control with Key Lighting;"

·         No. 5,614,906: “Method For Selecting a Remote Control Command Set;" and

·         No. 6,587,067 B2: "Universal Remote Control with Macro Command Capabilities.”