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December 21, 2006

Visto awarded damages against Seven, appeal pending

Seven Networks has been ordered to pay rival push email provider Visto Corp damages of $7.7m, plus costs and attorneys' fees, following a patent infringement ruling in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

By CBR Staff Writer

As Seven noted in its own press release on the subject though, the court dismissed one of the five patent claims asserted against Seven, and stayed Visto’s request for an immediate injunction on the remaining four claims pending appeal. Seven noted that its customers can continue to use and sell all of its products as before. Seven claimed that, No new developments are expected in this case until early 2008 when the appeals process is due to complete.

As you would expect, Visto’s take was slightly different — it noted the jury’s ruling on April 28 2006 that Seven, willfully infringed on the system that Visto created over a decade ago. It conceded that although the judge has granted a permanent injunction against Seven Networks, it will be stayed pending appeal as Seven has said.

Justice has been served, said Brian Bogosian, Visto’s chairman, president and CEO. Today’s decision heralds a victory for true innovation and for lawful invention, whether it is conceived by a large corporation or by a passionate few toiling in the dim lights of a garage. Seven’s unlawful misappropriation of Visto’s technology has been uncovered for what it is: a flagrant violation of our property rights. We hope that all responsible entities will respect the decision of the Court and not support the unlawful behavior of those who would deliberately misuse the inventions of others.

The patents at issue in the case include those titled, System And Method For Securely Synchronizing Multiple Copies Of A Workspace Element In A Network ; System And Method For Using A Global Translator To Synchronize Workspace Elements Across A Network and System And Method For Globally And Securely Accessing Unified Information In A Computer Network.

Visto was founded in 1996, while Seven Networks was founded in 2000.

Seven said yesterday that it will, continue to vigorously defend its innovative products and will continue to contest the validity of Visto’s patents. Seven has a strong case on appeal. The United States Patent Office (PTO) is currently reexamining the validity of all three asserted patents. In a first office action, the PTO has already rejected all claims in the ‘708 Patent on grounds of invalidity. While the appeal is pending, Seven expects the PTO to issue its final rulings on the asserted patents either rejecting Visto claims entirely or narrowing their scope, either of which will ultimately nullify the trial verdict.

In a separate and ongoing lawsuit, Seven countersued Visto in August of 2005 in the same court for the infringement of two of its mobile email patents that it argues predate the Visto patents. That trial is set for June 2007.

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We are pleased with the ruling and grateful to the Court for its diligent attention to the case, said Kent Thexton, Seven’s executive chairman yesterday. With a strong case on appeal, strong balance sheet, thriving business and our turn in the court in June we are well positioned to drive this dispute to resolution.

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