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MINOLTA UPHELD IN KEY ISSUES IN HONEYWELL PATENT CASE; JURY AFFIRMS MINOLTA'S MAXXUM CAMERA WAS DEVELOPED INDEPENDENTLY

 MINOLTA UPHELD IN KEY ISSUES IN HONEYWELL PATENT CASE;
 JURY AFFIRMS MINOLTA'S MAXXUM CAMERA WAS DEVELOPED INDEPENDENTLY
 RAMSEY, N.J., Feb. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- A U.S. District Court jury in Newark, N.J., delivered a decision today in the long-standing patent and contract dispute between Minolta Camera Co., Ltd., and Honeywell, Inc. which upheld Minolta's position on several key issues.
 The jury found in favor of Minolta on the breach of contract, and that Minolta did not infringe on two patents. It found that there was no willful infringement by Minolta on any Honeywell patents. Although it found that two Honeywell patents were infringed upon by Minolta, it awarded damages to Honeywell of $96.35 million, significantly less than the hundreds of millions Honeywell had sought.
 Minolta expressed satisfaction that the jury rejected Honeywell's most serious claims and said it was reviewing its options with respect to the remaining claims.
 "While we disagree with some aspects of the jury's decision, we are gratified that the jury rejected Honeywell's claims that we willfully infringed their patents or violated our business contract," said Sam Kusumoto, chairman and chief executive officer of Minolta Corporation, the company's U.S. subsidiary.
 "Minolta continues to have great faith in the U.S. judicial system and we are confident that if we pursue this case further we will ultimately prevail," Kusumoto said. "However, we must weigh the cost and distraction of continuing this prolonged litigation against the pressing need to concentrate our full attention on strengthening our business and serving customers."
 "America is Minolta's largest and most important single market and our commitment to our U.S. customers, dealers and employees remains as strong as ever," he said. "Regardless of the ultimate outcome of this dispute, we will continue to provide American consumers with the innovative products and quality service they have come to expect from Minolta."
 Kusumoto noted that Minolta's business dispute with Honeywell involved a range of highly complex technical and legal issues which took four months to present to the jury. The dispute grew out of Minolta's 1985 introduction of the MAXXUM camera. Honeywell alleged that Minolta infringed on four of its patents issued in the early 1970s and that it violated an agreement to use a Honeywell part in the MAXXUM.
 Minolta argued in court that Honeywell's claims were groundless for several reasons:
 -- Honeywell's four patents were not valid because they were based on technology developed by other companies and because Honeywell withheld vital information from the U.S. Patent Office when it applied for them.
 -- The Honeywell module at the heart of the contract claim was technologically flawed, and every camera that used it failed in the marketplace. As a result, when the Honeywell contract expired, Minolta used an entirely different system for the MAXXUM camera.
 -- Honeywell's damage claims of $75 per camera were outrageously inflated, especially since it tried to sell its autofocus business to Mitsubishi, including license rights to all of Honeywell's autofocus patents for 50 cents per camera.
 "Minolta succeeded in revolutionizing the camera industry with the MAXXUM camera, bringing to market a new product and new technology which has helped millions of Americans more fully appreciate the joys of photography," Kusumoto said. "The jury affirmed that the MAXXUM was developed independently and is the result of the hard work over several years of hundreds of Minolta scientists and engineers."
 Minolta Corporation distributes photographic, business equipment and office automation products. Minolta Corporation subsidiaries include Minolta Business Systems, Inc., Minolta Copier Corporation of New York, and Mohawk Marketing Corporation in Virginia City, Va. Minolta also operates a toner plant, Minolta Advance Technology Inc., in Goshen, N.Y.
 -0- 2/7/92
 /CONTACT: Michael Gross, 212-484-7721, or Steve Rosenbaum, 212-484-7421, both of Robinson, Lake, Lerer & Montgomery, for Minolta; or during the Photo Marketing Association Show, Feb. 7-9, Rosenbaum can be reached at Bally's Resort Casino, 800-634-3434/
 (HON) CO: Minolta Camera Co., Ltd.; Honeywell, Inc. ST: New Jersey, Minnesota IN: HOU SU:


CK-JT -- NY042 -- 7787 02/07/92 12:59 EST
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Date:Feb 7, 1992
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