Jury Awards Honeywell in Patent Infringement Case

Jury Awards $30 Million to Honeywell in Patent Infringement Case Against JVC

Minneapolis, MN -- A U.S. District Court jury, District of Minnesota, Fourth Division, has found that Victor Company of Japan, Ltd. And its U.S. subsidiary U.S. JVC (JVC) infringed a patent owned by Honeywell, Inc., and awarded Honeywell $30 million in damages. Honeywell's lead trial attorney, Martin R. Lueck of Minneapolis-based Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P., said the patent covers fundamental technology used in video cameras sold today.

The jury awarded $30 million, which reflects royalties of two percent of JVC's sales of the accused camcorders to calculate past damages for the unlicensed use of the technology. Lueck led the firm's litigation team, which included partner Matthew L. Woods

At issue were two claims on U.S. Patent No. 4,425,501 (issued in January 10, 1984), which Honeywell accused JVC's video cameras of infringing. In the early 1990s, the video camera industry experienced a surge of growth. Honeywell invited all camcorder manufacturers to engage in licensing discussion for the ‘501 patent. JVC is the sole major video camera manufacturer not to have licensed the ‘501 patent. Subsequently, Honeywell filed for infringement on October 20, 1999, claiming JVC's camcorders infringe claims 1 and 2 of the ‘501 patent. The sole issue of infringement related to whether the color filters contained in the imaging chips used in the accused camera are merely part of the transparent member, or whether they are a distinct structure that intervenes between the transparent member and the surface of the chip.