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Apple, Dell Hit By LCD Patent Suit

Dell Computer , Nokia and Apple Computer are among 34 companies manufacturing giant Honeywell has filed suit against, charging they infringed its patent on liquid crystal display technology (LCD).

In a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the district of Delaware, the company claimed its technology is being used in a variety of consumer electronics products, such as notebook computers, cell phones, personal digital assistants, portable DVD players, portable LCD TVs, video game systems and digital still cameras.

John Donofrio, vice president of intellectual property at Honeywell, said the Honeywell technology increases the brightness of images and reduces the appearance of certain interference effects on an LCD.

"Honeywell invests millions of dollars in research and development every year, and we aggressively defend our intellectual property to protect that substantial investment,"he said in a statement.

The lawsuit is asking for unspecified monetary damages and an injunction to stop all the companies named in the suit from selling products that it says infringe on the patent.

"The two largest LCD manufacturers, LG.Philips LCD and Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd., have previously taken licenses under this fundamental patent," said Donofrio. "Honeywell has a long history of successfully licensing proprietary technologies worldwide for non-competing uses as a core component of our strategic business model. We are pleased that LG.Philips and Samsung Electronics are benefiting through their licenses from our technology."

Comments from the 34 companies charged were not immediately available. They include: Hartford Computer Group, Audiovox, Casio Computer, Eastman Kodak Company, Fuji Photo Film Co., Kyocera Wireless Corp., Olympus Corporation, Sanyo North America, Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications and Toshiba.

In related news, Honeywell also announced Wednesday that it acquired the intellectual property of Aspen Technology's HYSYS modeling software and the Operator Training Simulation (OTS) business.