Protecting Innovation

Read About May 23 Legal Actions
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Read About the Initial Lawsuit

 

HONEYWELL ACTIONS TO PREVENT UNAUTHORIZED USE OF ITS INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY THAT RESULTED FROM ITS SUBSTANTIAL INVESTMENT IN RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

PROTECTING INNOVATION
Patents are designed to encourage innovation by offering inventors and businesses the ability to protect their investments in areas such as research and development. These investments and innovations directly and indirectly spur economic growth and further investment across a range of industries, making patents one of the keys to a vibrant, global economy. For these reasons, investors and businesses routinely act when their patents rights are being infringed.


LEGAL ACTIONS TAKEN MAY 23
On May 23, Honeywell, an industry leader in scanning and productivity solutions, took additional legal actions against The Code Corp., a company that manufactures bar code readers (Code), for infringement of Honeywell patents.

Honeywell filed a complaint asking the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to prevent Code from importing into the U.S. its products that infringe Honeywell’s patents, such as the CR2600 bar code reader, as well as some of its components, that are manufactured abroad. Honeywell also filed a second patent infringement lawsuit against Code in the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware. Both actions claim that Code’s bar code readers, including the CR2600 and its components, infringe Honeywell patents.

In January, Honeywell filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Code in U.S. District Court for South Carolina for infringement of multiple patents related to Honeywell's bar code reading technology that makes bar code readers easier to use and operate faster and more accurately. The two new actions are directed toward six additional patents that are fundamental to the performance of modern bar code readers and scan engines. The average remaining life of these patents is longer than eight years.

”We believe Code has engaged in widespread infringement of Honeywell intellectual property with its bar code readers. Our actions today further demonstrate our intent to prevent Code from continuing to profit from that practice,” said Lisa London, president of Honeywell’s Productivity Products business. “Fair competition starts with respecting the patent rights of others. We will pursue every legal avenue we can to protect our intellectual property.”

The ITC is an independent, quasi-judicial federal agency with broad investigative responsibilities on matters that affect trade and commerce, including intellectual property. In its complaint, Honeywell has asked the ITC to investigate its claims, issue an exclusion order to bar the importation of Code’s patent-infringing bar code readers and scan engines into the U.S., and issue cease and desist orders prohibiting Code from selling any products found to infringe Honeywell’s patents.

The six Honeywell patents involved in both the second patent infringement lawsuit and the ITC action filed today are:

U.S. Patent No. 6,832,725, which is directed to optical readers with contrasting color illumination and aiming LEDs.

U.S. Patent No. 8,511,572, which is directed to formatting configurations for scanning devices to allow for flexibility in customizing decoded information outputs.

U.S. Patent No. 7,148,923, which is directed to imaging devices utilizing modules of varying priority levels for analyzing and obtaining images and methods of operating the same.

U.S. Patent No. 7,527,206, which is directed to code reading systems with illumination duration analysis and control capabilities for capturing images and methods of operating the same.

U.S. Patent No. 8,646,692, which is directed to devices utilizing various control parameters to obtain decodable images and methods of operating the same.

U.S. Patent No. 9,323,969, which is directed to devices utilizing quality evaluation processing to measure and analyze frames of image data for quicker trigger-to-decode times.

As further alleged in the additional lawsuit, Code not only infringes all six asserted patents directly, but it also has induced its customers to infringe several of the patents. Honeywell seeks monetary damages to compensate it for Code’s past and ongoing infringing conduct. Honeywell also has asked the Court to issue an injunction permanently precluding Code from selling infringing products, to find that Code’s infringement of the patents is willful, and to award enhanced damages to Honeywell

For more information on the legal action Honeywell has initiated against Code Corp, please refer to the following FAQ below.

To read the full press release, click here.


INITIAL LAWSUIT AGAINST CODE

On January 19, 2017, Honeywell filed a patent infringement lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina alleging that bar code scanners and components thereof manufactured, sold, and offered for sale by Code – including its highest-selling bar code scanner, the CR2600 – infringe U.S. Patent Nos. 6,249,008; 6,538,413; 6,039,258; 6,491,223; 6,607,128; and 8,096,472, all owned by Honeywell. As alleged in the Complaint, Code infringes Honeywell’s patents to unfairly compete with Honeywell in the bar code scanning market, and in particular, the healthcare scanner market. Honeywell asserts in the litigation that Code incorporated Honeywell’s patented technology into its handheld scanners instead of developing its own non-infringing technology. Code sells the accused products to customers throughout the United States, including Honeywell’s own customers, causing harm to Honeywell.

As further alleged in the Complaint, Code not only infringes all six asserted patents directly, but it also has induced its customers to infringe the ‘128, ‘472, ‘258, and ‘223 patents.  Honeywell seeks monetary damages to compensate it for Code’s past and ongoing infringing conduct.  Honeywell also has asked the Court to issue an injunction permanently precluding Code from selling infringing products, to find that Code’s infringement of the ‘128, ‘472, ‘008, and ‘258 patents was willful, and to award enhanced damages to Honeywell.  The Court has set a trial in this matter for July 5, 2018 in Charleston, South Carolina.

Apparently, in response to the lawsuit, Code claims to have structurally redesigned several of its products, including the CR2600, in a manner that, according to Code, would avoid infringement of two of the asserted patents.  Code did not contend that the redesign impacts Honeywell’s infringement claims with respect to the remaining four patents in the suit.


FAQ
What are the most recent actions Honeywell has taken against Code Corporation?
On May 23, 2017, Honeywell filed a complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) to preclude Code Corp. from importing into the U.S. its products that infringe Honeywell’s patents, such as the CR2600 bar code reader as well as some of its components that are manufactured abroad. We also filed a companion patent infringement lawsuit against Code Corp. in Federal Court.

Both actions claim that Code’s bar code readers, including the CR 2600 and its components, infringe Honeywell patents. These actions follow on Honeywell’s first patent infringement lawsuit against Code Corp that was filed in January 2017.

Why has Honeywell taken this action?
We believe Code has engaged in widespread infringement of Honeywell patents with its products, including the CR2600 bar code reader, and the actions we have taken reflect how serious we consider the unauthorized use of our intellectual property. We have a long-standing policy of protecting intellectual property. Protecting our patented technology is critical to ensuring a level playing field for all market players and to ensure that we can continue to invest in innovative products to meet customers’ needs.

What does Honeywell seek with the ITC complaint?
Honeywell has asked the ITC to investigate our claim, issue an exclusion order to preclude the CR2600 bar code reader and scan engines from being imported into the U.S., and issue cease and desist orders to prohibit Code from selling any products that infringe Honeywell’s patents, including remaining inventory of the patent-infringing products.

What does the second patent infringement lawsuit seek?
Like the first lawsuit filed in January, the second lawsuit – a companion to Honeywell’s complaint to the ITC, we seek to prevent Code from using Honeywell's patented technology in its bar code readers (including the CR 2600) and to recover damages caused by the infringement. We have a long-standing policy of protecting intellectual property.

What are the new patent infringements Honeywell is alleging against Code Corp.?
There are six Honeywell patents involved in the second patent infringement lawsuit against Code Corp. See above for a list of these six.

What other Honeywell patents does Code Corp. infringes?
Honeywell’s first lawsuit – in January – alleges infringement of multiple patents related to Honeywell’s bar code scanning technology. The patents involved in the lawsuit are for Honeywell innovations that make bar code readers easier to use and operate faster and more accurately. Specifically:

U.S. Patent No. 6,039,258: "Hand-held portable data collection terminal system"

U.S. Patent No. 6,249,008: "Code reader having replaceable optics assemblies supporting multiple illuminators"

U.S. Patent No. 6,491,223: "Autodiscriminating Optical Reader"

U.S. Patent No. 6,538,413: "Battery pack with capacity and pre-removal indicators"

U.S. Patent No. 6,607,128: "Optical assembly for bar code scanner"

U.S. Patent No. 8,096,472: "Image sensor assembly for optical reader

However, Code Corp’s infringement may extend beyond the patents addressed in the legal actions taken in January and May of 2017.

Is Honeywell currently taking any legal action against resellers of Code Corp.’s products?
No. The focus of this lawsuit is directed at Code Corp., which manufactures and sells products that infringe our patents. We are very proud of our relationship with our channel partners and will continue to actively support our distributors and value-added resellers.

Where should I direct any inquiries from my end-user customers?
We understand that you may receive questions from your customers about these legal actions. This webpage is designed to provide you with information about the actions we have taken. You can reach out to your Honeywell point of contact to help communicate with your end-users.

What penalties will my company face if I continue to sell Code Corp’s alleged patent-infringing products?
Since Honeywell cannot advise other companies on the legal implications of their actions, you should consult with your own legal counsel.

As a Code distributor/reseller, am I considered as infringing on patents by selling Code products?
The U.S. patent laws state that whoever without authority makes, uses, offers to sell, or sells any patented invention, within the United States or imports into the United States any patented invention during the term of the patent therefor, infringes the patent. Since Honeywell cannot advise other companies on the legal implications of their actions, you should consult with your own legal counsel.

Which of Code’s products are implicated by these patent infringement actions?
Each action is directed to all of Code’s barcode readers and components thereof that infringe the patents, including but not limited to the CR2600.

I am currently selling/distributing Code’s CR2600. Which Honeywell products should I select and where can I order them?
There are many other alternative scanning solutions from various vendors. Honeywell offers a comprehensive range of handheld bar code scanners. To learn which Honeywell products best addresses your needs, please visit www.honeywellaidc.com for product information, or you can contact your preferred distributor.

Honeywell first filed the original lawsuit in January. When does Honeywell anticipate a final decision/outcome on this lawsuit?
The trial in the original lawsuit is scheduled for July, 2018.

Will we be notified of the outcome of the legal action?
Honeywell plans to communicate with its channel partners as this legal matter progresses.

I am currently holding stock of Code products. If Honeywell wins this action will I be penalized for selling off the stock I have?
Since Honeywell cannot advise other companies on the legal implications of their actions, you should consult with your own legal counsel.

Is Honeywell aware of any other patent infringements and if so, does Honeywell plan to take legal action against any other manufacturers?
Honeywell has invested millions of dollars in research and development to become a global leader in data capture technology, and we will continue to protect our investment against anyone who infringes on our patented technologies. Honeywell actively monitors for unauthorized uses of its innovations and has a strong record of enforcing its intellectual property rights.

 

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