OCC subsidiary AOS prevails in major patent infringement suit

Optical Cable Corporation (OCC) announced that Applied Optical Systems, Inc. (AOS), its recently acquired subsidiary, has prevailed in a major patent infringement lawsuit brought in November 2006 by Amphenol Fiber Systems International (FSI). The fiber optic connectors at issue are predominately used in military and other harsh environment applications, and include a standard four-channel second generation tactical fiber optic cable assembly (TFOCA) connector design.

November 23, 2009 --Optical Cable Corporation (OCC) announced that Applied Optical Systems, Inc. (AOS), its recently acquired subsidiary, has prevailed in a major patent infringement lawsuit brought in November 2006, by Amphenol Fiber Systems International (FSI), a subsidiary of Amphenol Corporation. OCC acquired AOS on October 31, 2009.

The jury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas unanimously determined, that an AOS fiber-optic connector design does not infringe on FSI's U.S. Patent 6,305,849. The jury decision follows an earlier U.S. District Court ruling, which similarly found that two other AOS fiber-optic connector designs do not infringe on the patent as a matter of law. The result marks a complete verdict in favor of AOS, the defendant in the lawsuit.

The fiber optic connectors at issue are predominately used in military and other harsh environment applications, and include a four-channel second generation tactical fiber optic cable assembly (TFOCA) connector design that has been a reliable standard for the U.S. military and allied militaries for a number of years.

"OCC acquired AOS to enhance the integrated fiber optic and copper datacom cabling and connectivity solutions we provide in our targeted markets. The favorable resolution of this lawsuit advances that strategy, permitting OCC to pair AOS' innovative and unique fiber optic connectivity products with OCC's field-proven fiber optic cabling products for military and other harsh environment applications," comments Neil Wilkin, president and chief executive officer of Optical Cable Corporation.

"We are pleased with the decision of the jury, which is consistent with the court's earlier ruling and validates our long-held position that AOS' product offerings are well outside the scope of the patent," adds Tom Hazelton, president and general manager of Applied Optical Systems, Inc.

The findings in the U.S. District Court clear the way for AOS to continue to manufacture and distribute its two military specification compliant four-channel TFOCA-style fiber optic connectors (TFOCA/16 CCTA10B31 and TFOCA/16 CCAA10B31 which comply with the U.S. Department of Defense's MIL-PRF-83526/16 and /17 specifications), as well as its EZ-Mate connectors, which are designed for other harsh environment applications.

Still pending before the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas are AOS' allegations against FSI for improper use of the litigation and the patent in violation of U.S. anti-trust laws.

Munck Carter, LLP, a Texas-based patent litigation firm, represented AOS in the patent infringement case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, Fiber Systems International Inc. v. Applied Optical Systems Inc, (2:06-cv-00473).

On the Web:www.appliedopticalsystems.com; www.occfiber.com.

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