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French court finds in favour of Bell

written by australianaviation.com.au | October 17, 2012
Landing gear for the Bell 429 is at the centre of a patent dispute between Bell and Eurocopter.

A French court has dismissed claims against Bell Helicopter brought by Eurocopter, which had claimed the original design of the Bell 429’s skid gear infringed a Eurocopter patent.

“This ruling by the French court, once again validating the design of the Bell 429 production skid gear, is a resounding victory for Bell Helicopter,” said John L Garrison, president and CEO of Bell Helicopter. “Integrity is woven into the fibre of our company and we work tirelessly to ensure our actions are consistent with this core value.”

However, Bell has a similar case pending in the US.  In a statement announcing the French court’s dismissal of the case, Garrison said: “We intend to continue to vigorously defend the production gear in the pending Eurocopter infringement suit in the US. This ruling underscores the Canadian court’s decision in a similar ruling in favor of Bell Helicopter and provides strong support for our position,” said Garrison.

All Bell 429s will continue to be delivered with the revised current production gear, according to Bell.

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