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HONEYWELL RECEIVES $96 MILLION INITIAL AWARD IN MINOLTA PATENT LAWSUIT

HONEYWELL RECEIVES $96 MILLION INITIAL AWARD IN MINOLTA PATENT LAWSUIT
 Company Seeks Injunction Banning U.S. Sales of Minolta Cameras
 NEWARK, N.J., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Minolta Camera Co. must pay Honeywell (NYSE: HON) $96 million for pirating autofocus technology used in Minolta came ras, a jury in U.S. District Court in Newark ruled today.
 Following the judgment, Honeywell said it will immediately seek an injunction banning U.S. sales of Minolta cameras that contain misappropriated Honeywell technology. Honeywell said the injunction would help ensure payment of the award and prompt Minolta to negotiate licensing fees for future sales of its autofocus cameras.
 "Minolta violated Honeywell's rights and unlawfully profited from the use of our technology," said Christopher J. Steffen, executive vice president and chief financial and administrative officer of Honeywell. "Honeywell shares technology with companies around the world, but we cannot and will not tolerate the use of our technology -- our intellectual property -- without compensation."
 The four-month civil trial ended today with an eight-person jury finding in favor of Honeywell, which alleged Minolta stole patented technology for its autofocus cameras, including the popular Maxxum camera line.
 Honeywell will immediately attempt to resolve similar patent infringement issues with at least 15 other camera manufacturers Steffen said are using Honeywell autofocus technology without permission.
 Through licensing agreements, Honeywell offers technology to other companies for incorporation into products. In return, Honeywell uses royalties and fees from those agreements to further fund technology research and development. Patents protect intellectual property from unauthorized use by other companies.
 The jury award marks a milestone in the six-year, $14 million effort by Honeywell to obtain compensation for developing autofocus technology, invented in the 1970s and 1980s by Honeywell Fellow Norman L. Stauffer. Stauffer, whose work revolutionized photography, received the Masaru Ibuka Consumer Electronics Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers in 1990 for his autofocus inventions.
 The dispute began in 1985, when Minolta introduced the Maxxum camera. After efforts to reach a negotiated settlement failed, Honeywell filed suit against Minolta in April 1987. Honeywell said it lost millions of dollars in potential royalties because of Minolta's unlicensed use of autofocus technology.
 "We can and will compete with anyone," Steffen said. "But the issue here isn't free trade, the issue is justice. We invested significant resources to invent this technology. We had something they wanted, and they took it without our permission and without paying for it. We owed it to our shareholders, employees and customers to pursue this misappropriation of our technology."
 Steffen said a new approach needs to be developed to settle international patent disputes. "Because of the increasingly complex nature of international business, we need international rules to address patent and other intellectual property protection issues in a reasonable time frame," he said.
 Honeywell is a global controls company that provides products, systems and services for homes and buildings, industry, and aviation and space. The company employs 58,000 people worldwide and had 1990 sales of $6.3 billion.
 Honeywell, based in Minneapolis, has offices in 90 countries on six continents. International joint ventures include an ownership position in Yamatake-Honeywell of Japan, a country with which Honeywell has had positive trade relations since the 1920s.
 -0- 02/07/92
 /CONTACT: Kevin Whalen of Honeywell, 612-870-2524 or 612-431-5662/
 (HON) CO: Honeywell ST: New Jersey, Minnesota IN: SU:


KH -- MN006 -- 7728 02/07/92 11:21 EST
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Date:Feb 7, 1992
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