In a lawsuit that seeks Big Time Damages, Measurement Computing Corp. and Soft Technology, Inc. got a positive ruling from Judge Keeton of the Federal court in Massachusetts. The judge just granted SoftWIRE's request---over National Instruments's (NI) objection---to permit SoftWIRE to charge National Instruments in a pending lawsuit between the two parties.
Priority Of Invention?
SoftWIRE claims NI is infringing two patents owned by SoftWIRE.
Following Keeton's ruling, SoftWIRE filed a so-called Amended Complaint accusing National's popular LabVIEW product with infringing two SoftWIRE patents.
In its complaint, SoftWIRE alleges that LabVIEW infringes on two virtual instrument patents that SoftWIRE acquired from Fluke Corp. The company says its two patents predate the earliest of the National Instruments patents.
SoftWIRE says it's seeking damages for past sales of the LabVIEW product, but even more significantly, SoftWIRE is seeking an order prohibiting National Instruments from continuing to sell its LabVIEW product!
Moreover, on January 15th of 2003, SoftWIRE and Measurement Computing filed suit against NI requesting a ruling from the court that SoftWIRE didn't infringe five patents that NI was asserting against it, or that those patents were invalid.
In February, SoftWIRE added a sixth NI patent to its lawsuit, and in May, SoftWIRE added three more patents, after NI charged SoftWIRE with infringing them.
The ruling by the judge indicates that the case pertaining to SoftWIRE's possible infringement of National's patents, and the case that LabVIEW infringes on two SoftWIRE patents, will be held concurrently in the same court.
"We are pleased the court allowed us to combine the two cases", says Ben Bailey, CEO of SoftWIRE Technology, and Chairman of the Board of Measurement Computing. "It means we'll be able to treat all of the issues between us in the same case. This will save our company the substantial expense incurred were the cases separated, and will also serve to lessen the burden on our very busy court system."
The company's major product, SoftWIRE, is a graphical programming extension for Microsoft Visual Studio.NET. SoftWIRE's graphical programming interface permits non-programmers and occupational programmers to create software applications without having to write any code. Go to SoftWIRE's Web site for more info about this process, or click here for more information from Measurement Computing.
Contact SoftWIRE Technology, Inc., 16 Commerce Blvd., Middleboro, Mass. 02346. Phone: (508) 946-8900, x271.