Avidyne v L-3 Trial Date Set

Avidyne announced today that a date has been set in February 2013 for a jury trial in its patent dispute with L-3 Communications Avionics Systems.

Avidyne President and CEO Dan Schwinn argues the L-3 lawsuit is without merit, explaining, “L-3 claims it invented a basic method of calibrating an attitude indicator to correct for the alignment of the device in the aircraft. Far from being a novel invention, calibrating an attitude device is something that was well known long before the [L-3] patent was filed. Every attitude indicator ever made has had to be properly calibrated.”

L-3 first filed the lawsuit in 2005, claiming Avidyne infringed on its patent with the EXP5000 primary flight display, part of the Avidyne Entegra suite. The suit is limited to EXP5000s sold between late 2004 and mid-2005, when the PFD was redesigned, said Avidyne.

No subsequent units, including those with the latest Release 9 software, are implicated in the suit, which Schwinn says has cost Avidyne “hundreds of thousands of dollars” to defend. He estimates that L-3’s legal fees “significantly dwarf Avidyne’s. With no hope of recovering lost profits damages, it is doubtful L-3 can ever recoup the amount of money it has spent on this litigation, even if the jury were to find in L-3’s favor.” Trial will be held in U.S. District Court. A spokesman for L-3 said it is company policy not to comment on pending litigation.

Mark Phelps is a senior editor at AVweb. He is an instrument rated private pilot and former owner of a Grumman American AA1B and a V-tail Bonanza.

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