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Settlement ends servo patent battle

01 July, 2004

A long-running patent battle between two Californian motor manufacturers has been settled. For more than five years, the Animatics Corporation and QuickSilver Controls have been fighting in court over a series of Animatics patents covering servo motors with built-in controls. The dispute also involved 17 of QuickSilver`s distributors.

The most recent court ruling, earlier this year, largely backed Animatics` claims, leaving only a damages trial to settle the monetary aspects of the case. Animatics viewed this trial as another unnecessary expense and has therefore reached a settlement with QuickSilver that releases all of the parties, including the distributors.

QuickSilver will pay Animatics a royalty for all of the integrated servos its has produced in the past, as well as contributing to its legal fees. But QuickSilver will not be compensating Animatics for all of its legal expenses, so Animatics will not allow it to continue selling integrated servos. QuickSilver will now focus on non-integrated products.

"We chose settlement as the most suitable way to protect both users and distributors from legal issues, and to end the drain of litigation so Quicksilver can continue to provide new and exciting products to our customers," says QuickSilver president, Don Labriola.

Animatics` chief executive, Robert Bigler, says that the settlement means that Animatics and its partners "can continue to invest in integrated servo development with security of knowing that it will not become a total commodity before we have finished advancing the technology to its limit".

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