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.
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.
Question: One of my friends is working to raise money for a charity. She wants to offer an airplane ride as a prize to one of the donors and has asked me to be the pilot in command. If am a private pilot, then how many hours of flight time would I need to have logged in order to act as pilot in command on this flight?
Smith Field in Fort Wayne, Ind., has withstood three separate attacks—in the 1970s, 1990s, and 2002—to close it and redevelop the land. Now, it's thriving.
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