Advanced Optical Technologies, LLC (AOT) and its subsidiary Renaissance Lighting LLC (RL) announced that they have filed suit in federal court in Alexandria, Virginia against Finelite, Inc. of Union City, California, and its sales agent Thomas Harris & Co., Inc.
The suit is based upon apparent infringement by Finelite’s Series 15 fluorescent fixture of various patents on AOT's Constructive OcclusionTM technology, as well as violation of a non-disclosure agreement entered into between AOT and Finelite in 2000 and a license agreement entered into between AOT and Finelite in 2001.
President of AOT, Jack Rains stated, “We entered into a non-disclosure agreement and a license agreement with Finelite, Inc. in hopes of assisting Finelite in developing an extremely low-profile linear fluorescent fixture and providing the benefits of our patented Constructive OcclusionTM technology to a broad market. Under these agreements we disclosed to Finelite many proprietary design aspects of our technology, as well as discussed and revealed our considerable manufacturing know-how. We were advised early last year that Finelite had abandoned the project and was not going to pursue development of a product using our technology.”
In November 2003, Finelite introduced the Series 15 fluorescent fixture, which is substantially similar to the designs discussed between Finelite and AOT/RL.
“We regret having to take this action,” stated Rains, “however, we have offered this technology to many potential users, and have successful agreements in place with a number of them. To not defend our proprietary technology in this case would greatly diminish the value of those agreements as well as place future agreements in jeopardy,” he concluded.
Constructive OcclusionTM is a revolutionary and patented approach to light distribution that offers unsurpassed uniformity and performance. Advanced Optical Technologies, LLC and Renaissance Lighting, LLC products and services are exclusively distributed by KATIE Group, Inc. of Los Angeles, California. Further information on AOT and RL products is available at www.katiegroup.com.