Keyboard manufacturer Maxi Switch Inc. has agreed to acquire the manufacturing rights, patents and assets for Lexmark International Inc.'s Select-Ease and Rubber Dome computer keyboards, including a patent for its Buckling Spring technology. Tucson, Ariz.-based Maxi Switch also purchased Lexmark's remaining inventory of finished goods, which was to be shipped to Maxi Switch last week.
Under the terms of the agreement, Maxi Switch said it will purchase tools, molds, patents, copyright licenses, manufacturing information and the Select-Ease trademark for an undisclosed sum.
Making its debut in 1994, the Select-Ease is a full-function keyboard that splits and separates into left and right halves, allowing the user to adjust the height and angle of either side as desired.
Home Office Computing magazine honored the Select-Ease this year with its Editors' Pick award, calling it ``the most ergonomically correct keyboard made to date.'' PC Magazine conferred its Buyer's Choice designation on the product.
Maxi Switch subcontracts its injection molding to custom molder AMA Plastics, which is based in Anaheim, Calif., and has a plant in Tucson. A representative at Maxi Switch said the Tucson facility will mold the parts for Select-Ease. Maxi Switch and AMA have had a long-standing relationship.
Maxi Switch plans to incorporate the Select-Ease keyboard and the Buckling Spring switch technology into its product line by year's end.