04 Sep 2003
A patent battle regarding laser-sintering technology could result in a $120million payout for a German company.
Germany-based laser sintering specialist EOS has won a key ruling in its lawsuit against its US rival 3D Systems. EOS estimates that the damages from the amount to at least $40 million.
A California district court ruled that the Sinterstation and Vanguard laser-sintering systems manufactured and sold by 3D Systems since August 1997 infringe EOS patent rights. EOS had originally filed the claim against the DTM Corporation, which was acquired by 3D Systems in 2001.
The court also ruled that a counter-claim filed by 3D Systems, which referred to the powder materials used in laser sintering, was effectively invalid and cannot be enforced against EOS.
If the patent infringement is judged to be wilful, the damages for which 3D Systems is liable could rise to $120million.
Unsurprisingly, 3D Systems chairman G Walter Loewenbaum II was disappointed with the court decision: “3D Systems will appeal the rulings and believes that the law and the facts favour its position and will ultimately prevail.”