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Minebea Co., Ltd.

Chicago, IL: (Apr-25-07) Papst Licensing filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Minebea Co., Ltd., a multi-billion-dollar industrial company based in Tokyo, alleging that since 1997, Minebea tried to destroy Papst's licensing program. The lawsuit dealt with Papst Licensing's patents that cover motors and hard-disk drives found in virtually all personal computers. Papst had sued all major hard-disk drive manufacturers for patent infringement, and has now entered into significant license agreements with all but one of the manufacturers. These licensees include IBM, Seagate, Western Digital, Hitachi, Fujitsu, Toshiba, and many others. Minebea, a supplier of motors to these manufacturers, tried to torpedo Papst's licensing program by suing Papst on behalf of Minebea's customers seeking an order that Papst's licensing program was illegal and seeking recovery from Papst for the significant license payments Papst had received from Minebea's customers. Minebea had leveled several misconduct charges against Papst, including fraud, conversion, breach of contract, patent exhaustion, and patent misuse, though Minebea dropped all fraud charges on the eve of the trial. In a settlement reached, Minebea agreed to pay Papst Licensing a $6.7 million settlement to avoid protracted litigation. [BUSINESS WIRE: PC MOTOR PATENT]

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Published on Apr-30-07


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