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Rolls-Royce, UTX’s Pratt Settle Jet-Engine Patent Dispute

Rolls-Royce Holdings Plc, the world’s second-largest maker of jet engines, settled a patent dispute with United Technologies Corp.’s Pratt & Whitney unit.

Terms weren’t disclosed. The companies requested in July 15 court filings dismissal of two civil lawsuits against each other. The settlement also covers a related case before the U.S. International Trade Commission that threatened to delay delivery of Boeing Co.’s 787 Dreamliner passenger airplanes.

The companies “reached an amicable, confidential settlement agreement resulting in dismissal of all patent litigation,” East Hartford, Connecticut-based Pratt and London-based Rolls-Royce, said in e-mailed statements.

Rolls-Royce had lost in May the case it brought against Pratt over engine-fan technology, while Pratt’s lawsuit had been on hold pending the outcome of the ITC complaint. Rolls-Royce makes the Trent 1000, which has been designated for Boeing’s newest passenger jet, and the Trent 900 for the Airbus SAS A380, which competes with the GP7200 engine sold by a venture of Pratt and General Electric Co.

A federal judge ruled in May that Pratt’s GP7200 Fan Stage doesn’t violate a patent issued to cover technology in the Trent engine for the A380. Pratt’s lawsuit accused Rolls-Royce of unfairly using patent litigation to keep it from re-entering the biggest segment of the commercial-airline market. Pratt filed an ITC complaint in which the agency is investigating whether the Trent 900 and Trent 1000 infringed a Pratt patent.

The ITC case is In the Matter of Certain Turbomachinery Blades and Engines, 337-751, U.S. International Trade Commission (Washington).

The September case is United Technologies Corp. v. Rolls-Royce Plc, 10cv1523, U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut (New Haven). The earlier case is Rolls-Royce Plc v. United Technologies Corp., 10cv457, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia (Alexandria).

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