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Biamp to Appeal Court Decision

Biamp Systems, manufacturer of audio and conferencing equipment, announced its intention to appeal a judgment against it in the U.S. District Court of Central Utah in a lawsuit with ClearOne, a provider of audio conferencing systems.

Biamp Systems, manufacturer of audio and conferencing equipment, announced its intention to appeal a judgment against it in the U.S. District Court of Central Utah in a lawsuit filed by ClearOne, a provider of audio conferencing systems.

In 2007, ClearOne named Biamp Systems as co-defendant along with WideBand Solutions in a suit claiming that it knowingly licensed an acoustic echo canceling algorithm from WideBand that ClearOne alleges was stolen from them. Biamp claims it stopped using the software in question prior to the filing of the lawsuit, and has denied any knowledge or guilt in the case, maintaining that the facts do not support the claims.

ClearOne said in a statement it "intends to vigorously pursue collection of the damage awards."

On November 5, 2008, a jury awarded ClearOne approximately $3.5 million in compensatory damages and $7.0 million in punitive damages. The majority of compensatory damages and all punitive damages were awarded against WideBand.*

Biamp Company president Ralph Lockhart insists Biamp would never enter into a licensing agreement that would knowingly infringe on a trade secret or steal intellectual property from another entity.

"We were shocked when we were named in this lawsuit," Lockhart said, in a statement. "We had absolutely no knowledge of any wrongdoing by our licensing partner, and we stand firmly by our innocence in this case."

Biamp expects to receive word on the final judgment from the District Court in Utah in the coming weeks, after which the company plans to file for an appeal. Officials said Biamp customers will not experience any changes in the delivery of Biamp products or services. The pending judgment does not affect Biamp's products or technologies, including the Biamp TrueSound AEC algorithm used in Biamp conferencing products such as AudiaFLEX and NexiaTC.

A ClearOne spokesperson told PRO AV, "ClearOne is aware of Biamp's intent to appeal the jury's verdict. However the federal jury specifically found by unanimous verdict and by clear and convincing evidence that Biamp willfully and maliciously misappropriated ClearOne trade secrets."

* UPDATE: This story has been changed to reflect that the majority of the jury's judgment was against WideBand Solutions.



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