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June 17, 1990


By CBR Staff Writer

And which company did the pioneering work on the chips that provide the autofocus mechanism in cameras? It was Honeywell Inc in what in retrospect looks like the most successful outcome from its foray into the semiconductor business – but it is tired of seeing its brainchild ripped off and reckons its patents are being infringed: it has now asked the US International Trade Commission to ban import into the US of Minolta Camera Co autofocus cameras claiming they infringe its patents – Honeywell says it provided Minolta, and 15 other Japanese camera manufacturers, with the information for making the autofocus module on a confidential basis and on the understanding that the company would buy the parts from Honeywell when it put the cameras into production; instead, it says, the companies copied the technology and the closure of Honeywell’s Colorado Springs chip manufacturing facility was a direct result of the orders it expected never materialising.

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