April 2, 2013
By Jim Moore
Image of the actual settlement agreement from the federal court file.
A 2005 patent dispute over a primary flight display settled just as the case was about to go to trial in U.S. District Court, records show, with Avidyne Corp. and L-3 Avionics Systems agreeing to undisclosed terms.
L-3 filed suit in 2005, alleging that early versions of Avidyne’s EXP5000 primary flight display infringed on L-3 patents. Avidyne issued a press release in November, announcing a February trial date and calling the lawsuit “baseless.” A spokesman for L-3 declined comment at the time. Both the initial complaint and a related cross-complaint filed by Avidyne were dismissed in keeping with an agreement filed with the court March 5.
The court documents include reference to a confidentiality agreement that binds both companies, and precludes public disclosure of settlement terms. The technology at issue was a system for calibrating an attitude indicator, the invention of which preceded development of the L-3 SmartDeck integrated flight deck. The court had previously dismissed a claim by L-3 against profits made by Avidyne between 2005, when the lawsuit was filed, and 2008, when SmartDeck was brought to market.
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The National Aeronautic Association has awarded the Collier Trophy for “the first unmanned, autonomous air system operating from an aircraft carrier.”
The memory of a passenger who perished in an April 1945 airline accident continues to drive an effort to recognize notable achievements in aviation safety.
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