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Datapoint Corp, the San Antonio, Texas-based videoconferencing specialist, has filed a brief in the US District Court in Dallas requesting that the Court amend its previously-filed patent infringement suit against Intel Corp and certify it as a class action suit. Datapoint, which filed the initial suit against Intel two months ago, feels that it alone developed the architecture involved in videoconferencing as the industry now knows it. The new action essentially represents Datapoint taking on anyone and everyone in the videoconferencing arena. It says that the common idea of a videoconferencing network where data, voice and video flow through a multipoint connector unit and hubs is its proprietary design. After filing suit against Intel, Datapoint’s lawyers came to the conclusion that roughly 500 companies involved in videoconferencing – from manufacturers to communications providers and resellers – are all guilty of stealing its design in one way or another. Included in the expanded list of would-be defendants are Pacific Bell Corp, Dell Computer Corp and Hayes Microcomputer Corp. It is now up to the judge to decide whether to grant the suit class action status. Lawyers for Datapoint say they would be surprised if that decision came before the end of the year.


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