Dogfight Over Pet-Tracking Patents

     LAS VEGAS (CN) – Qualcomm defrauded the owner of GPS pet-tracking patents to settle a lawsuit and use the technology, Telepet USA claims in court.
     Telepet sued Qualcomm and its subsidiary Snaptracs on May 6 in Federal Court, accusing them of fraud, conspiracy, breach of contract and breach of faith.
     Telepet says obtained two patents for GPS pet-tracking technology, in 2008 and 2011.
     In 2010, Telepet claims, a Snaptracs official sent it an unsolicited email asking if it was still working on a pet-tracking device and suggesting Telepet work with Qualcomm to develop, market and sell it.
     Telepet says Snaptracs began selling its TAGG the Pet Tracker device during the summer of 2011 – and that it infringes on one or both Telepet patents.
     It claims it informed Qualcomm of the infringements and Qualcomm responded by suggesting the companies negotiate a “business relationship.”
     Qualcomm offered to buy the patents, pay an annual fee and royalties for a license to use them, or buy a 40 percent interest in Telepet – none of which Telepet accepted, it says.
     Instead, Telepet filed a federal patent infringement complaint against Qualcomm and Snaptracs in January 2013. It claims the defendants agreed to settle the complaint and enter into a patent license agreement in June 2013.
     It claims Qualcomm and Snaptracs “made material misrepresentations” and “withheld material facts” to induce it to settle the lawsuit and agree to license the technology.
     “But for the … material misrepresentations or had it known of the material facts which Qualcomm and Snaptracs intentionally failed to disclose,” Telepet says, it would not have settled the lawsuit or licensed its patents.
     Also named as defendants are Snaptracs senior director Dudley Fetzer, Qualcomm agents Alex Rogers and James Hoffman, and Snaptracs president Dave Vigil.
     Telepet seeks rescission of the patent license it granted to Qualcomm, punitive damages, attorney’s fees and costs.
     Telepet is represented by Las Vegas attorney Scott Cantor, who was not immediately available for comment.
     Qualcomm and Snaptrac officials could not be reached for comment Monday.

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