S.C.C…… APOLOGIZE & DROPS LAWSUIT

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S.C.C…… APOLOGIZE & DROPS LAWSUIT

 user 2008-01-29 at 12:42:00 pm Views: 55
  • #19110

    Chip patent suit dropped, with apology
    A Tierra Verde inventor will share in sales profits.
    When a powerful competitor accused him of selling counterfeit printer-cartridge chips in 2004, Steven Miller flatly denied it. He blamed the predicament on false testimony by ex-employees.Turns out the Tierra Verde inventor was on to something.Three-plus years after Miller was sued for patent infringement, the case has been dropped. Ed Swartz, CEO of Static Control Components of Sanford, N.C., issued a public apology. “If we had known the whole story, then this dispute would have settled a long time ago,” he said in a news release. “Mr. Miller is a hard-working, bright young man, and I look forward to working with him.”

    Vindication isn’t the only reward for Miller, a 46-year-old auto repair shop owner who also designs parts for private-label ink and toner cartridges. A cross-licensing agreement he reached with Static Control – which bills itself as the world’s largest distributor of toner-cartridge components – will guard against future patent litigation between the two parties. It also could earn Miller millions of dollars in royalties, he said in an interview Monday.”We’re happy with the settlement,” Static Control general counsel Skip London said Monday. “We’ve reached a resolution that we think is good for our company and good for Steve’s company.”Originally filed in North Carolina, Static Control’s lawsuit was chock full of oddities. It accused Miller and business associate Robert Rauber of buying Static’s chips, hiring a Russian engineer to extract the software code, manufacturing counterfeit copies, and distributing them through a firm fronted by David P. Abraham, a homeless ex-convict from St. Petersburg.There was one kernel of truth to the allegations, Miller said: Abraham, a former employee of his Pinellas Park auto repair shop, was indeed homeless and in trouble with the law. So Miller – who said he himself lived in a car as a teen – offered Abraham the chance to turn his life around by becoming a distributor of Miller’s patented printer-cartridge technologies. “He’s gone from being a menace to society to being a businessperson and a homeowner,” Miller said.