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Rockwell and Beckhoff come to patent agreement


August 26, 2014
By Manufacturing AUTOMATION

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Aug. 26, 2014 – Rockwell Automation, Inc. (Milwaukee, Wis.) has granted Beckhoff Automation (Verl, Germany) a license to more than a dozen U.S. and European linear motor patents. The license agreement between the two companies settled a patent infringement litigation amicably.

“We are pleased to resolve this matter and have our patent rights respected. This agreement allows our customers to integrate linear motor independent cart technology into a wide range of machines,” said Marco Wishart, vice-president and general manager of Rockwell Automation’s motion control business.

Rockwell Automation’s linear motor business, including its recent Jacobs Automation acquisition, has developed a substantial portfolio of patents comprising more than 100 issued patents on linear motor technology alone.

Hans Beckhoff, owner and managing director of Beckhoff Automation, stated: “We found a good solution for our customers outside the U.S., who may integrate the Beckhoff XTS linear motor system as one of the most advanced motion technologies into their machines.”

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Beckhoff will market and sell the XTS System worldwide with the exception of the United States, where Beckhoff – under the terms of the license agreement – will delay market entry until June 30, 2019.

However, Beckhoff customers outside the United States who purchase and integrate an XTS into their machines are permitted to sell those integrated systems through their respective sales channels into the United States subject to the license terms.