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Microsoft slaps peripherals manufacturer with lawsuit

Claims Belkin has been incorporating Microsoft-developed tech into keyboards, mice and has refused to agree to licensing talks.

Microsoft filed a patent infringement claim against peripherals maker Belkin on Tuesday. The dispute concerns a Microsoft-developed technology called U2, which enables devices like keyboards and mice to automatically determine whether they require a USB or PS/2 connection. In March, Microsoft began marketing U2 to third-party manufacturers along with several other hardware technologies. According to the Microsoft complaint, filed with the International Trade Commission, Belkin has been incorporating U2 into its keyboards and mice and has refused to agree to licensing talks. In a statement, Microsoft said it has no intention of seeking financial compensation but instead simply wants the unlicensed Belkin products out of the U.S. market. Microsoft considers the importation of products with unlicensed U2 technology into the United States to be encroaching on its utility patents.

"Several companies, including Targus, Fellowes and others, license U2 technology from Microsoft," said Tom Burt, Microsoft corporate vice president and deputy general counsel. "Belkin's use of this technology without paying for it is unfair to companies who invent, respect and pay for this property." A representative from Belkin declined to comment.