Honeywell Loses TAWS Patent Case Against Sandel

 - December 9, 2008, 11:05 AM

A federal jury rejected a claim by Honeywell that Sandel Avionics of Vista, Calif., violated its patents, ending more than six years of legal battles over terrain awareness and warning system (TAWS) technology. The jury at the Delaware Federal Court in Wilmington deliberated for about five hours before deciding last Friday that Sandel did not infringe Honeywell patents for the latter’s enhanced ground proximity warning system (EGPWS). A federal judge in 2003 ruled that the patents weren’t infringed, but an appeals court reversed the decision last year and ordered a new trial on one remaining claim. “The judge in the original trial got it 100 percent right, and this jury got it right as well,” said Sandel president Gerry Block. “We couldn’t be happier with the result.” Honeywell said in a statement it is “disappointed in the decision and believes the jury erred in its findings.” Honeywell also had sued Universal Avionics for EGPWS patent infringement. The two companies settled their dispute for undisclosed terms before the start of the trial. Universal was forced to pay Honeywell around $6.5 million as part of an earlier TAWS patent infringement case.