Animatics wins motion system patent lawsuit

Santa Clara, CA - Animatics Corp. recently announced that the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, on Dec. 18, 2002, has ruled in favor of the company's patent lawsuit against QuickSilver Controls Inc. (QCI, Covina, CA), that QuickSilver infringes Animatics' U.S. Patent No. 5, 912, 541.

By Control Engineering Staff January 27, 2003

Santa Clara, CAAnimatics Corp . recently announced that the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, on Dec. 18, 2002, has ruled in favor of the company’s patent lawsuit against QuickSilver Controls Inc . (QCI, Covina, CA), that QuickSilver infringes Animatics’ U.S. Patent No. 5, 912, 541. According to Animatics, the Court also struck down all of QCI’s defenses that the patent was invalid.

The ”541” patent applies to ”Integrated DC Servo Motor and Controller” technology developed and manufactured by Animatics. The product takes the form of a servo-positioning system that integrates a controller, amplifier, and encoder into a brushless dc motor, which Animatics sells under the SmartMotor brand name. The court also issued an injunction prohibiting QuickSilver from making, using, offering to sell, or selling products-designated QCI-17, -17H, -23, -23H, -34N, -34H, and -34HC-and ”infringing variations thereon” within the U.S., as well as importing such products.

QuickSilver Controls’ position is that the infringement is limited in scope. It states that the court’s ruling affects only two patent claims (one independent and one dependent claim). Animatics refers to a much larger number of infringing claims. Since the ruling, QCI has implemented a redesign that, it says, does not infringe on these claims, and is compatible with the old design. QuickSilver also states that it will appeal the Court’s verdict. Further developments are likely in this case.

Web sites of the respective companies provide more in-depth information. For Animatics, click on the box near the top right of the homepage at www.animatics.com

For QuickSilver Controls, click the ”Legal” button at www.qcontrol.com

Control Engineering Daily News Desk
Frank J. Bartos, executive editor
fbartos@reedbusiness.com