WILMINGTON, Del.Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations L.L.C. has settled its patent infringement lawsuit in Delaware federal district court against TRW Automotive Inc. and its EnTire Solutions L.L.C. subsidiary.
The settlement was announced Sept. 21, one week to the day after oral arguments began in Wilmington on the case. TRW has agreed to license Bridgestone's tire pressure monitoring systems (TPMS) technology, but otherwise the terms of the agreement are confidential, Bridgestone said.
In the lawsuit it first filed in September 2013, Bridgestone accused TRW and EnTire Solutions of selling TPMS devices, including sensors, which violated Bridgestone patents. At issue were the patents designated 787, 885 and 476, all held by Bridgestone.
TRW Automotive Holdings Corp. and TRW Automotive U.S. L.L.C. were co-defendants with TRW Automotive Inc. and EnTire Solutions.
Besides a permanent injunction against the sale of TRW and EnTire Solutions TPMS devices, Bridgestone sought compensatory damages; a compulsory ongoing licensing fee; an accounting for any infringing sales not presented at trial, with an additional damage award; and attorneys' fees and court costs.
On Aug. 3, the three TRW entities filed a motion to dismiss Bridgestone's case. In the motion, TRW argued Bridgestone had not proved its standing to sue TRW.
Press releases and investor presentations, TRW said, showed that Marathon Patent Group Inc. and its subsidiary IP Liquidity Ventures L.L.C. actually owned the contract and revenue rights associated with the outcome of the case.
However, Judge Gregory M. Sleet of the Delaware federal court denied TRW's motion Sept. 4. The issues involving Marathon and IP Liquidity were irrelevant to any issues in Bridgestone's case, the judge ruled.
As a technology leader in the tire and rubber business, Bridgestone has an interest and obligation to protect its intellectual property, said Tom Kingsbury, acting chief counsel, intellectual property at Bridgestone Americas.
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