Dog Fight Between Copter Makers Gets Underway

     WASHINGTON (CN) – A federal judge laid out the definitions of helicopter landing gear terminology to start the process of clearing up a patent infringement dispute between two heavy hitters in the helicopter distribution industry.
     Bell Helicopter Textron sued Eurocopter in 2010, seeking a court declaration that Eurocopter’s patent for helicopter landing gear with skids is invalid and not infringed by Bell, and Eurocopter filed a counterclaim alleging infringement of the gear.
     “The ‘621 patent is primarily directed to a helicopter landing gear with skids, particularly intended for light helicopters,” explained U.S. District Judge Robert Wilkins. “The claimed invention overcomes many of the disadvantages of conventional landing gears by significantly reducing acceleration factors during landing, ‘ground resonance,’ and landing gear weight.”Judge Wilkins used briefs submitted by both parties to construe key terms associated with landing gear, including a front, curvature, inclined transition zone and integrated front cross-piece.

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