SMI Hid Info During Settlement, Court Says

     CINCINNATI (CN) – A company that makes on-hold message machines failed to prove that a competitor fraudulently concealed information when the companies settled their patent infringement lawsuit, the 6th Circuit ruled.

     Info-Hold reached a settlement agreement in 2006 with Sound Merchandising Inc. that would pay royalties for SMI’s use of Info-Hold’s patent.
     However, Info-Hold alleged that SMI concealed the fact that it had two versions of its message machine during discovery.
     Judge Clay ruled that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in ruling that SMI committed fraud.
     “Given the fact that the OHP7000 had been publicly available for purchase for four months prior to the settlement conference,” Clay wrote. “It seems likely that SMI reasonably believed that Info-Hold was already aware of the product’s features, as well as its two configurations.”

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