Honeywell Sues Apple, 33 Others Over LCD Patent


Honeywell announced late Wednesday it has filed a lawsuit against Apple and 33 other electronics companies claiming infringement of a liquid crystal display (LCD) patent.

Honeywellis lawsuit claims the companies have infringed on a its patent for technology that increases the brightness of images and reduces the appearance of certain interference effects on a LCD. A spokesman for Honeywell told The Mac Observer that the United States patent in question is number 5,280,371, filed in July of 1992 and granted in January of 1994.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages from each company.

The company said the technology is being used in a variety of consumer electronics products, from notebook computers to digital still cameras and personal digital assistants, among many. The companyis lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court for the district of Delaware, asks for an injunction to prohibit selling products that infringe on its patent.

Defendants named in Honeywellis lawsuit besides Apple include Argus, Audiovox, Casio Computer, Casio, Concord Cameras, Dell, Eastman Kodak, Fuji Photo Film, Fuji Photo Film, Fujitsu, Fujitsu America, Fujitsu Computer Products, Kyocera Wireless, Matsushita Electrical, Matsushita Electrical Corp. of America, Navman NZ, Navman U.S.A., Nikon USA, Nikon Inc., Nokia, Nokia Americas, Olympus, Olympus America, Pentax, Pentax U.S.A., Sanyo Electric, Sanyo North America, Sony, Sony Corporation Of America, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications (U.S.A.) Inc., Toshiba, and Toshiba America.

Two LCD manufacturers, LG.Philips LCD and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., have previously taken licenses from Honeywell for the technology, the company said.

The only Apple products using LCDs displays are the G5 iMac, iBook and PowerBook systems, its flat-panel LCD displays for use with its G5 Power Mac line, as well as the iPod product line.

An Apple spokesman did not immediately return requests for comment from The Mac Observer.