Geo Week News

July 15, 2013

FARO settles five-year patent lawsuit with Nikon


FARO withdraws motion for attorneys fees, agrees to settle

FARO Technologies, Inc. said Friday it entered into a settlement agreement with Nikon Metrology, Inc., ending five years of patent litigation.

Terms of the settlement were not disclosed. FARO (Nasdaq: FARO) manufactures high-precision 3D measurement and imaging devices and software used for inspecting components and assemblies, rapid prototyping, documenting large volume spaces or structures in 3D, surveying and construction, as well as for investigation and reconstruction of accident sites or crime scenes.

Nikon Metrology, formerly Metris USA, sued FARO in July 2008, alleging the Lake Mary, Fla., 3D laser scanner manufacturer’s probe accessory used with some FaroArms infringed on its patents.

In Sept. 2011, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Patti Saris issued summary judgment that FARO did not infringe on Nikon’s patent. That ruling was further supported in August 2012, when a jury ruled in favor of FARO, concluding Nikon’s patent claims were invalid.

Believing the lawsuit was winding down, FARO filed a motion for attorneys’ fees in Sept. 2012.

“Faro is a much smaller competitor to Nikon,” FARO, with sales of just over $65 million, said in the filing. “The motivation for this case couldn’t be more clear. Nikon was bent on suing Faro into submission.”

The next month, Nikon, with sales over $10 billion, filed a motion to deny FARO attorneys’ fees. On March 20, Chief Judge Patti Saris issued a final judgement in favor or FARO, quickly followed by another appeal from Nikon in April.

FARO withdrew its motion for attorneys fees on Friday and agreed to settle the case (Civil Action No.: 08-cv-11187) with Nikon. A phone message for Keith Bair, FARO CFO, was not immediately returned.

FARO’s stock was up 4 cents in late Monday morning trading at $38.63. The company’s 52-week stock price ranges from $31.10-$45.88. The company has a market capitalization of $660 million and a P/E ratio of 31.73.

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