At a time of heightened security concerns due to heavy holiday travel traffic, Morpho Detection, Inc. has won a patent infringement suit over a screening system used to detect explosives and narcotics at many airports throughout the world.
A federal jury decided Tuesday that Morpho Detection had proven its competitor Smiths Detection, Inc., infringed its patent for the widely-used system, according to Armstrong Teasdale lawyers who represent the company. The unanimous verdict followed a week-long trial in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District
of Virginia, Norfolk Division.
“This was an important victory for our client as this screening technology is used
throughout the world,” said Patrick Rasche, Armstrong Teasdale Intellectual
Property practice group leader. “Security agencies throughout the world,
including the U.S. Transportation Security Administration, depend on Morpho
Detection’s technology to ensure the safety and security of airline passengers,
government buildings and other vital U.S. infrastructure.”
At issue in the case, which was tried by Armstrong Teasdale attorneys Jennifer Hoekel and Richard Brophy, is the patent for a machine and method to screen passengers and their luggage for contraband. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued the patent on Nov. 9, 2004.
In this screening process, a security operator uses a wand to swab those individuals’ hands and their baggage. The content of the swab is then analyzed for the presence of explosives or narcotics.
In its suit, Morpho Detection alleged that Smiths Detection makes and sells a detection system that uses technology covered in Morpho’s Detection’s patent.
Morpho Detection, a high-technology company in the Safran group, is a market leader in securities solutions. It provides explosives, narcotics and chemical detection systems that are used to help safeguard people and high-risk targets including air and ground transportation, government and military facilities and other critical infrastructure.