Wholesalers may face litigation
The National Association of Wholesaler-Distributors has issued a legal advisory regarding claims by a patent owner that the use of bar-code reading equipment in wholesale distribution and other industries for warehousing, inventory control, distribution and point-of-sale transactions may constitute infringement on its patent.
The Lemelson Foundation has contacted wholesaler-distributors seeking a license fee to use this technology. The license fee sought to date is .008% of sales revenue ($80 per $1 million) for a 10-year period that covers the preceding six years and the next four years.
Royalty demands have ranged from 0.1% ($1,000 per $1 million) to .005% ($50 per $1 million) of sales revenue.
However, no federal court has yet ruled that the Lemelson patents are valid and enforceable.
For more information, contact George Keeley, NAW's general counsel, at 312/782-1829.