Court rules in favour of Bell Helicopter

Bell Helicopter recently
announced that the Canadian Federal Court had ruled in the case of Eurocopter
vs Bell Helicopter that the current Bell
429 production skid gear does not infringe the Eurocopter ‘787 Patent. All Bell 429’s have been and
will continue to be delivered with the current production gear.

“We are
pleased with the court’s ruling that the current Bell 429 production skid gear
does not infringe the Eurocopter ‘787 Patent, ” said John L. Garrison,
president and chief executive officer of Bell Helicopter. “Integrity is at the
core of who we are as a company and what we believe. Bell Helicopter would
never knowingly violate the intellectual property of others.”

The
Court found 15 of the 16 claims of Eurocopter’s Canadian patent invalid. The
Court did find that one of the 16 claims was valid and was infringed by the
original, pre-production sleigh skid gear, however, this original skid gear was
never placed into production or sold to a customer.

“While
we respect the Court’s opinion, based on prior art, we believe that the patent
should never have been granted for the sleigh gear design. We are considering
an appeal on the findings of both validity and infringement,” said Garrison.

“This
ruling is a victory for Bell Helicopter, validating the design of the 429
production skid gear” said Garrison. “We intend to continue to vigorously
defend the production gear in the pending infringement suits in the U.S. and
France. We believe the Canadian court’s decision provides strong support for
our position and remain optimistic that we will obtain positive results in
those courts.”

Terry Spruce

Terry is Senior News Editor and writes for both Corporate Jet Investor and Helicopter Investor. He is also responsible for our helicopter guides. Terry has been an aviation enthusiast since the early 1970s. He is a lapsed Private Pilot and ex-Piper Cherokee owner. He has flown a number of light aircraft and is comfortable sitting in the co-pilot's seat or the back of any aircraft. Before moving to journalism he was a banker for 20 years. You can contact him at: terry@corporatejetinvestor.com or follow him on twitter @Terry_Spruce

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