November 29, 2012
By Jim Moore
A federal jury will begin hearing testimony in February in the 2005 lawsuit filed by L-3 Avionics Systems that contends Avidyne Corp. infringed on L-3 patents with early versions of Avidyne’s EXP5000 primary flight display.
Avidyne President and CEO Dan Schwinn called the lawsuit “baseless” in a Nov. 27 press release, and reiterated the company’s argument that the L-3 patent in question is invalid.
“L-3 claims it invented a basic method of calibrating an attitude indicator to correct for the alignment of the device in the aircraft. Far from being a novel invention, calibrating an attitude device is something that was well known long before the patent was filed,” Schwinn stated. “Every attitude indicator ever made has had to be properly calibrated.”
A spokesman for L-3 Communications said the company does not comment on pending litigation.
Avidyne said the Entegra system was revised in 2005—the year the suit was filed—and none of the models produced since are implicated in the legal action. The courts have already dismissed a claim for lost profits from L-3, which brought its SmartDeck integrated flight deck to market in 2008..
The management team running Chelton Flight Systems and S-Tec Corp. in Mineral Wells, Texas, for parent Cobham Avionics saw an opportunity and bought in.
Italian twin-engine airplane manufacturer Vulcanair stepped into the single-engine certified aircraft market April 9 with the announcement of a 180-horsepower, four-seat single.
General aviation’s future depends on dealing with higher costs and on making do with less, says industry analyst Richard Aboulafia.
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