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Thursday, January 1, 2009

Rotorcraft Report: Jury Rules in Honeywell vs Sandel Dispute

PRODUCTS

After three court appearances and one jury trial, defendant Sandel Avionics of Vista, Calif. prevailed in a patent infringement lawsuit brought by Honeywell International. The $10.6 million suit, which was filed in 2002, alleged that Sandel’s ST3400 terrain avoidance warning system (TAWS) violated two Honeywell patents. Sandel denied the allegations, saying the tecnology was their own. Honeywell also filed suit against Tucson, Ariz.-based Universal Avionics Systems Corp, but the two parties reached a confidential settlement prior to trial.

The David versus Goliath trial lasted one week, concluding Dec. 5 with the jury ruling against in favor of the small, 35-employee Sandel operation.

"Sandel is now free to continue to manufacture, sell, license and improve its superior TAWS technology without interference by Honeywell," said Gerry Block, president and CEO of Sandel.

"We are disappointed in the decision and believe the jury erred in its findings," said Bill Reavis, a spokesman for Honeywell.

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