Cognex says it remains commited to defending its machine vision software patents

Cognex responded to the initial determination by the ITC, which recommended a finding that the importation and sale of equipment using Halcon software from MVTec Software does not violate two of Cognex’s patents.

Jul 29th, 2010

Cognex (Natick, MA, USA) responded to the July 16, 2010 initial determination by an Administrative Law Judge of the International Trade Commission (ITC), which recommended a finding that the importation and sale of equipment using Halcon software from MVTec Software (Munich, Germany) does not violate two of Cognex’s patents.

“We are encouraged by the judge’s decision confirming that the claims of one of the patents (US Patent No. 7,016,539) are not anticipated or obvious,” said Todd Keebaugh, Cognex’s Vice President of Legal Services. “However, we are disappointed with his initial determination that both Cognex patents in this investigation were not infringed, and that they claim unpatentable subject matter under the Supreme Court’s recent decision in Bilski. We believe the Supreme Court made clear that Bilski was not intended to affect the patentability of technological methods performed in software. Fortunately, the judge’s decision at the ITC is only an initial determination, and Cognex will bring these important issues to the full Commission for an independent review.”

Keebaugh continued, “The ITC proceeding is just one path in our battle to vigorously assert our patent rights against MVTec, and it has no impact on Cognex’s assertion of five other patents in our second path, which is our ongoing case against MVTec in the U.S. District Court. In this regard, we are very pleased that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office carried out a reexamination at MVtec’s request and confirmed the validity of four of those patents (including 7,016,539). We expect the District Court to issue an injunction and award damages to Cognex for the sale of MVTec’s allegedly infringing software in the United States, and/or sales by any other company that incorporate that software.”

“For the past 20 years, Cognex has been widely recognized as the pioneer of the geometric pattern matching methods which are at the heart of this case,” stated Dr. Robert Shillman, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Cognex. “Our company has invested significant resources to develop this innovative technology which has brought enormous value to industrial automation worldwide, and we believe we have justly earned the protection granted to us by the US Patent and Trademark Office.”

A final determination by the ITC is expected in November 2010. It is important to note that the ITC proceeding will have no impact with respect to Cognex’s ability to develop, market or sell its machine vision products anywhere in the world.

Posted by Vision Systems Design

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