Animatics, Quicksilver settle patent lawsuit without damages trial

Santa Clara CA; San Dimas, CA—Following more than five years of court battles, Animatics Corp. reports that its hotly contested lawsuit against QuickSilver Controls Inc. for infringing its patent covering integrated servos has been completely settled.

07/28/2004


Santa Clara CA; San Dimas, CA— Following more than five years of court battles, Animatics Corp. reports that its hotly contested lawsuit against QuickSilver Controls Inc.

This latest settlement arose shortly after Animatics received a favorable decision in its patent infringement case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Animatics initially sued QuickSilver for infringing its patent for combining a servomotor with an integrated microprocessor controller. After a three-week trial in November 2002, and a deadlocked jury, the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California found as a matter of law that the ac-cused QuickSilver products infringed Claims 32 and 35 of Animatics' patent, but did not infringe Claims 26, 28 and 31.

The appeals court reversed the district court's finding of no infringement of claims 26, 28 and 31 and directed the district court to enter a judgment of infringement on those claims as well. Animatics explains that the federal circuit's opinion is a major victory because claims 26, 28 and 31 are broader than the claims previously found to have been infringed. If Animatics originally had won on these claims at the district level, the resulting 'S-Series' workaround would not have been viable.

With only a damages trial left to follow the appeals court’s ruling, both parties were motivated to settle the case. Animatics viewed the damages trial as yet another unnecessary expense, and saw a more predictable and positive solution in working with QuickSilver, now that the issues of infringement and patent validity were resolved. Both parties wished to spare their distributors and customers any harm wherever possible.

Consequently, the two firms reached a settlement that releases all parties, including the distributors. QuickSilver will pay Animatics its reasonable royalty for all of the integrated servos made in the past, along with an additional measure of attorney's fees. Animatics agreed to forsake all other damages in exchange for QuickSilver's cooperation in paying at least some of the overall losses related to the infringement and litigation.

Since their agreement doesn’t require QuickSilver to compensate Animatics for all of its legal expenses, Animatics has not given QuickSilver a license to sell integrated servos in the future. Robert Bigler, Animatics’ CEO, says that, 'It would not be fair to our existing alliance partners, when they came to us without any litigation right from the get-go, to give a license to a party that chose the path of most resistance.'

Quicksilver adds that the most important thing was to protect its distributors. Don Labriola, Quicksilver’s president, adds that, 'We chose settlement as the most reliable way to protect both users and distributors from legal issues, and to end the drain of litigation, so QuickSilver can continue to provide new and exciting products to our customers.'

The second most important thing for QuickSilver was to be able to continue to offer its technology to the market, at least in its non-integrated form. 'QuickSilver has already introduced several non-integrated products, showcasing our unique motion control capabilities and user-friendly interfaces, and, under this agreement, we will again be able to offer complete motion solutions including motors and encoders to help speed our customer's products to market,” says Labriola. “We look forward to supplying a growing range and depth of products to our customers.'

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Jim Montague, news editor
jmontague@reedbusiness.com





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2015 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
2016 Engineering Leaders Under 40; Future vision: Where is manufacturing headed?; Electrical distribution, redefined
Strategic outsourcing delivers efficiency; Sleeve bearing clearance; Causes of water hammer; Improve air quality; Maintenance safety; GAMS preview
World-class maintenance: The three keys to success - Deploy people, process and technology; 2016 Lubrication Guide; Why hydraulic systems get hot
Flexible offshore fire protection; Big Data's impact on operations; Bridging the skills gap; Identifying security risks
The digital oilfield: Utilizing Big Data can yield big savings; Virtualization a real solution; Tracking SIS performance
Getting to the bottom of subsea repairs: Older pipelines need more attention, and operators need a repair strategy; OTC preview; Offshore production difficult - and crucial
Applying network redundancy; Overcoming loop tuning challenges; PID control and networks
Driving motor efficiency; Preventing arc flash in mission critical facilities; Integrating alternative power and existing electrical systems
Package boilers; Natural gas infrared heating; Thermal treasure; Standby generation; Natural gas supports green efforts

Annual Salary Survey

Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.

There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.

But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.

Read more: 2015 Salary Survey

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.
This article collection contains several articles on the vital role that compressed air plays in manufacturing plants.
This article collection contains several articles on the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) and how it is transforming manufacturing.
This article collection contains several articles on strategic maintenance and understanding all the parts of your plant.
click me