Acoustic Technologies Reads Patent Infringement

ATI files for patent infringement against Itron, Inc.
By: Patent Calls, Inc.
 
March 30, 2010 - PRLog -- Acoustic Technologies Inc –ATI– has filed patent infringement charges against Itron Inc. The complaint, filed March 25, 2010 cites infringement of three US patents.

The patents named in the complaint are 5,986,574 (‘574); 6,239,722 (‘722) and 6,509,841 (‘841). All three patents are titled “A System and Method for Communication between Remote Locations” and pertain to a system of providing automated meter readings, a type of product in growing use by public and private utilities.

Developed in 1981 and headquartered in Massachusetts, ATI started as an acoustical consulting firm and developed into a worldwide system integrator and hardware designer.

The battle over these patents started even before ATI filed a complaint with Itron.

In December of 1996 PECO Energy Company paired with ATI to design a “concentrator meter” which would serve to automatically read customer meters and then report the information to PECO’s billing system, this was known as the AMR system.

The development started an eight year off-and-on battle with PECO over patent ownership of the ‘574, ‘722 and ‘841 patents. In 2004 ATI was awarded ownership of the three patents.

According the March 25th complaint, Itron was involved in the sale and installation of AMR systems and ATI says they advised Itron of their ownership of the patents. ATI offered to license the rights to produce, sell and install the AMR systems and the two companies began discussions to do so. The complaint claims that Itron terminated the discussions citing development of their own automated system of reading meters with a different technology.

ATI’s complaint states that a different technology was never implemented, “Itron has violated the claims of their patents by producing, selling and marketing, “…an AMR system in which: (i) meters containing a means of measuring and communicating the amount of usage of a utility are grouped together are formed into local area networks, (ii) each of the meters  within a group transmits to and receives data and instructions from one or more concentrators, and (iii) the concentrators relay information between the groups of meters and a central computer or control device over a wide area network.”

Headquartered in Washington, Itron was found in 1977 and provides intelligent metering, data collection and utility software solutions. In 2004 Itron acquired Shulumberger Electricity Metering.

ATI is asking the court to find Itron’s infringement “willful and deliberate” and award damages in excess of $75,000 as well as attorneys fees and costs.

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Source:Patent Calls, Inc.
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Tags:Acoustic Technologies, Itron, Patent Infringement, Utilities, Meter Reading, Patent, Amr System
Industry:Business, Technology, Wireless
Location:Austin - Texas - United States
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