Cognex sues ESI over machine-vision patents

MARCH 20--Cognex Corp. (Natick, MA; www.cognex.com), a leading supplier of machine-vision systems, has served a complaint against Electro Scientific Industries Inc. (ESI; Portland, OR; www.esi.com), a supplier of electronic manufacturing equipment, in the United States District Court in Massachusetts.

MARCH 20--Cognex Corp. (Natick, MA; www.cognex.com), a leading supplier of machine-vision systems, has served a complaint against Electro Scientific Industries Inc. (ESI; Portland, OR; www.esi.com), a supplier of electronic manufacturing equipment, in the United States District Court in Massachusetts. Cognex claims that ESI's CorrectPlace system for placing surface-mount devices infringes one or more claims of Cognex's US pat. #5,371,690, Method and Apparatus for Inspection of Surface mounted Devices, which was granted in December 1994. Cognex is asking the Court to stop ESI from making and selling CorrectPlace systems or any other product that infringes the designated patent. It is also seeking unspecified damages.

Says Cognex's president, chief executive officer, and chairman Robert J. Shillman, "Cognex will do whatever is necessary to protect the company's research and development investment and to ensure that our customers maintain the technical advantage they gained by purchasing Cognex products."

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