On Thursday, January 19th, multinational engineering and manufacturing firm Honeywell (NYSE:HON) of Morris Plains, NJ, announced that it had filed a patent infringement suit against electrical equipment manufacturer Code Corp. of Draper, UT. The suit targets barcode scanning products manufactured and marketed by Code; Honeywell alleges that these scanners practice technology covered by its patents. The case is filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina (D.S.C.).
According to Honeywell’s press release announcing the litigation, the conglomerate is asserting a series of six patents in this case:
- U.S. Patent No. 6039258, titled Hand-Held Portable Data Collection Terminal System. This patent, issued in 2000, claims a hand-held system for collecting data which provides tactual feedback, such as vibration, to improve data collection feedback.
- U.S. Patent No. 6249008, titled Code Reader Having Replaceable Optics Assemblies Supporting Multiple Illuminators. Issued in 2001, it protects a method for reading optical indicia on a target surface using a code reader which involves selecting a type of illuminator in a way that exhibits the characteristics of multiple code readers.
- U.S. Patent No. 6491223, entitled Autodiscriminating Optical Reader. It discloses a method for operating an optical reader that acquires 2D image data and decodes a bar symbol based on image elements in a way that makes it more economical to accommodate new barcode symbologies.
- U.S. Patent No. 6538413, titled Battery Pack with Capacity and Pre-Removal Indicators. This protects an electronic device capable of receiving power from a battery pack which has a contact which indicates remaining battery capacity level.
- U.S. Patent No. 6607128, entitled Optical Assembly for Barcode Scanner. It claims an optical assembly for use in an optical reader which has a pair of lamp brackets carrying light-emitting diodes (LEDs) in such a way that improves the lighting effectiveness of the LEDs.
- U.S. Patent No. 8096472, titled Image Sensor Assembly for Optical Reader. It claims a method for constructing an optical assembly in a way that makes it easier to create LED illumination systems for hand-held long range scanners which are compact and easy to install.
According to Honeywell’s press release, the company is seeking to recover damages caused by the sale of infringing barcode readers marketed by Code, such as the Code Reader 2600. Honeywell is also seeking to prevent Code’s use of the technology in future barcode readers. “We welcome competition, but we have zero tolerance for those who infringe our intellectual property,” said Lisa London, president of the productivity products division at Honeywell, in the press release. “Protecting patents is critical to ensuring a level playing field for all market players… Fair competition means protecting the patent rights of others.”