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DJI vs Autel patent war - No ban on DJI drones in the US

DJI vs Autel patent war – No ban on DJI drones in the US

Another victory for DJI in the patent war with Autel Robotics, as the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) decided not to enforce a ban on DJI drones.

DJI vs Autel patent war – No ban on DJI drones in the US

The U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) decided on Thursday in a final determination document that enforcement of the ban will be suspended and the ‘investigation is terminated.’

In the summer it says:

Notice is hereby given that the U.S. International Trade Commission (the “Commission”) has determined that:

  1. the respondents have violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, as amended, by importing, selling for importation, or selling in the United States after importation certain unmanned aerial vehicles (“UAVs”) that infringe complainant’s U.S. Patent No. 9,260,184 (“the ’184 patent”);
  2. the respondents’ redesigned rotor locking assemblies were not ripe for adjudication in this investigation;
  3. the appropriate remedies are a limited exclusion order and cease and desist orders; and
  4. enforcement of said remedial orders will be suspended pending final resolution of a Final Written Decision by the Patent and
    Trademark Office (“PTAB”) that the asserted claims of the ʼ184 patent are unpatentable.

This investigation is terminated

The DJI vs Autel patent war has been ongoing for some time now. Back in 2018, Autel Robotics asked the ITC to investigate DJI possibly infringing on a number of Autel patents, says CGTN. The patent that was most important in the patent war between the dronemakers is US9260184B2, named “compact unmanned rotary aircraft.” It describes the propeller locking mechanism between the rotor and the propeller.

Lawyers representing DJI have always maintained that this patent is actually ‘unpatentable’ as the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (PTAB) found in March 2020. DJI has tried to change the design of the propeller locking mechanism to avoid infringing on Autel’s patent but that wasn’t enough according to the ITC. However, the ITC still went ahead with the suspension of the ban on DJI drones because of the findings by PTAB. CGTN Digital reached out to DJI, but the dronemaker declined to comment on this story.

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Photo: AFP – An employee shows the Mavic Pro 2 drone in a DJI store in Shanghai on May 22, 2019.

Haye Kesteloo

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