SmarTire Systems Inc. has settled its patent infringement lawsuit against the former Siemens VDO Automotive Corp., now known as Continental Automotive Systems U.S. Inc.
Terms of the Feb. 20 settlement were not disclosed. Richmond-based SmarTire filed the suit last September against Siemens and Schrader-Bridgeport International Inc., claiming the companies infringed on a patent for its tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS).
According to SmarTire, Siemens acknowledged ``the validity and enforceability'' of SmarTire's U.S. patent No. 5,231,872 in a judgment that was entered by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia on Feb. 21.
Conti released a statement in which it noted that a ``pragmatic solution was found'' to the ``long conflict on patent litigation'' between SmarTire and the former Siemens VDO. Both parties now can ``continue with their business and move forward in the area of truck tire pressure control, unimpaired by further time-consuming disputes.''
Siemens, formerly the automotive electronics unit of Germany's Siemens A.G., was acquired by Hanover, Germany-based Continental A.G. for $16.7 billion in December.
``We are very pleased with this settlement as it validates and strengthens our extensive patent portfolio,'' said SmarTire President Dave Warkentin. ``We expect to receive significant financial and non-financial benefits from the settlement, including substantial net proceeds after payment of withholding taxes and litigation-related expenses. It will have a positive impact and allow us to focus on growing our business. We will continue to invest in R&D, seek innovations in tire pressure monitoring technologies and vigorously defend our intellectual property rights.''
SmarTire's TPMS monitors the condition of tires and transmits measurements of tire temperatures and pressures to an interior receiver, according to the patent.
The company's remaining patent infringement claim against Schrader-Bridgeport and Schrader Electronics Ltd. will continue with a jury trial slated for May 7, subject to the court's ruling on pre-trial motions, according to SmarTire.