Illinois Tool Works, Inc. & Subsidiaries - Page 3

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          Jerome H. Lemelson (Lemelson), an inventor and engineer, sent a             
          letter to DeVilbiss offering to license certain patents,                    
          including a patent called the “‘431 patent”.  In 1978, DeVilbiss            
          secured a license, from the Trallfa Co. of Norway (Trallfa), to             
          sell Trallfa robots in North America.  Trallfa robots are                   
          computer-controlled hydraulically actuated paint spray devices              
          that are designed to mimic human arm and wrist motions during               
          painting operations.  On September 17, 1979, attorneys for                  
          Lemelson sent a letter to DeVilbiss asserting that DeVilbiss was            
          producing certain products in the industrial robot and                      
          manipulator field that might be infringing certain Lemelson                 
          patents including the ‘431 patent.  On behalf of DeVilbiss, the             
          director of robotic operations at DeVilbiss wrote a reply letter            
          to Lemelson’s attorneys that denied any infringement.  On May 23,           
          1980, DeVilbiss and Trallfa entered into a new license agreement            
          that gave DeVilbiss the right to manufacture, as well as to sell,           
          Trallfa robots.                                                             
               In 1981, Lemelson filed a lawsuit against the United States            
          of America in the U.S. Court of Claims (Court of Claims lawsuit)            
          alleging patent infringement for the Federal Government’s                   
          purchase and use of certain robots including the Trallfa robot.             
          Champion, as owner of DeVilbiss, entered the case as a third-               
          party defendant.  During one court session, the presiding judge             
          stated that, after reviewing the merits, he did not believe that            

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Last modified: May 25, 2011