Monday, May 19, 2014, 10:28 AM
By Kirk Watkins
Microwave Vision, S.A., Satimo Industries, SAS, and SatimoUSA, Inc. (“Microwave Vision”), filed a complaint in the Northern District of Georgia against ESCO Technologies Inc. and ETS-Lindgren (“ESCO”), alleging a single count of patent infringement of United States Patent No. 7,443,170 filed on August 13, 2004 (the ‘170 Patent) seeking injunctive relief, damages, costs, and attorneys’ fees.
According to the complaint, Microwave Vision has been a pioneer in high-speed microwave measurement systems since 1989. Beginning in 1996 Microwave Vision focused on antenna measurement systems for the telecom market. The company had a series of breakthroughs from 1998 through 2005 culminating in the introduction of a multi-probe, fast antenna measurement system for the telecom, automobile, defense, aerospace, and material inspection industries. In 2008, by virtue of the purchase of ORBIT/FR, Microwave Vision’s business expanded to include positioners for antenna measurements and specialty electromagnetic absorbers.
The technology of the ‘170 Patent at issue in the case is “a multi-probe array system equipped with a ‘goniometer’ for antenna measurements[, which] allows the system to take a greater number of measurement points than the number of probes in the system,” thereby increasing measurement accuracy. Pictured below is Figure 1 from the patent with selected descriptive text from the patent’s specifications:
Microwave Vision alleges the defendants “directly and jointly infringe at least claim 12 of the ‘170 Patent literally and under the doctrine of equivalents by making and selling AMS systems including the AMS-8900 Series.” An image of the AMS-8900 obtained from the Internet is depicted below:
Microwave Vision assets that the AMS-8900 includes a goniometer, which accomplishes successive measurements exceeding the number of probes by pivoting support about a point in the manner patented by the ‘170 Patent. Below is an image of a goniometer from the Internet.
By letter dated February 14, 2014, followed up by another letter on February 19, Microwave Vision notified ESCO of the patent and alleged infringement. However, the AMS-8900 was not taken off the market.
The case is Microwave Vision, S.A., Satimo Industries, S.A.S., and Satismo USA, Inc. v. ESCO Technologies Inc. and ETS-Lindgren, Inc., No. 1:14-cv-01153-SCJ, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, Atlanta Division, on April 18, 2014, and is assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Steve C. Jones.