Two weeks after agreeing to be acquired for $3.25 billion, optical-networking equipment manufacturer Qtera Corp. and two of its founders have been dragged to court by a unit of Germany's Siemens AG over allegations Qtera violated Siemens' intellectual property rights.
Siemens Information and Communication Networks Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens, said today that it filed a suit seeking "substantial monetary damages" from Boca Raton, Fla.-based Qtera, Fahri Diner and Xiang-Dong Cao, two former Siemens employees, who left the company in 1998 to help run Qtera. Qtera was formerly named NextNet Technologies Inc.
On Dec. 15, Canada's Nortel Networks said it will pay $3.25 billion in stock for two-year-old Qtera to get the privately-held company's optical technology, which allows signals to be sent as far as 2,500 miles in purely optical form. The technology gives Nortel an advantage over its competitors in the race for faster delivery of I nternet communications.
Siemens Information, also based in Boca Raton, said it discovered "facts which raised concerns about the use of its [Siemens'] intellectual property" after Diner and Cao resigned their appointments in September 1998.
"This lawsuit is part of our continuing effort to vigorously protect our intellectual property rights," said Fred Fromm, president and chief executive of Siemens Information, in a statement.
Qtera's executives were not immediately available for comment.