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Litton-Honeywell Legal Dispute Enters Appeals Phase

Photonics Spectra
May 1997
Honeywell Inc. has won the latest go-around in its long-running legal dispute with Litton Systems Inc. over ring-laser gyroscope technology. The US Supreme Court recently ruled in favor of Honeywell's petition for certiorari -- a first step in the appeals process -- sending the case back to the federal circuit for review. The case dates back to 1993, when a jury determined that an ion-beam process Honeywell used for coating mirrors in a ring-laser gyroscope violated a Litton patent. The jury awarded Litton $1.2 billion. Two years later, a US district judge decided not to enter the jury's verdict, saying Litton obtained its patent through inequitable conduct. A second jury later overturned the judge's decision. Additional proceedings are anticipated later this year.


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