FEBRUARY 10--Cognex Corporation (Natick, MA; www.cognex.com) has been presented a special recognition award from the Automated Imaging Association (AIA; Ann Arbor, MI; www.machinevisiononline.org) for its recent courtroom victory over the Lemelson Medical, Education & Research Foundation, Limited Partnership. In the landmark decision by Chief Judge Philip Pro of the US District Court in Las Vegas, the claims of 14 patents asserted by the Lemelson Partnership were found invalid and unenforceable.
Since the early 1990s, the late Jerome Lemelson and the Lemelson Partnership are estimated to have collected more than $1.5 billion in license fees from companies that use machine vision and barcode-reading technology. "The threat of litigation from the Lemelson Partnership has hung over the machine-vision industry like a dark cloud for more than a decade. Thanks to Cognex, which spent millions of dollars fighting this case, this cloud is now gone," said Jeffrey A. Burnstein, executive director of AIA.
William M. Silver, chief technology officer and a cofounder of Cognex, accepted the award on behalf of Cognex at the annual AIA Business Conference in Orlando, FL, on February 5, 2004. Robert J. Shillman, chairman and CEO of Cognex was also in attendance.
Founded in 1984, AIA represents more than 200 machine-vision suppliers, system integrators, end users, research groups, and consulting firms. The association is best known for its trade shows and conferences, such as The Vision Show East (next slated for May 4-6 in Boston), the annual AIA Business Conference, the annual Machine Vision Market Study, and Machine Vision Online, a resource for machine-vision information on the Internet.