I.E.E. International Electronics & Engineering S.A., a Brooks Kushman client, is a pioneer in the field of capacitive occupant sensors. These sensors are utilized in vehicles for detecting an occupant sitting on the seat of a vehicle. IEE's capacitive occupant sensors not only detect the presence of a passenger, but they also can sense whether the passenger is of a weight or size that may put them at risk for injury if the airbag were to deploy. In such cases where the airbag may cause harm to a passenger, the capacitive occupant sensors integrate with the vehicle to deactivate the airbag. This technology is integral to the safe use of airbags.
On September 1, 2015, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan approved a settlement agreement between two units of Takata Corporation and Brooks Kushman client I.E.E International Electronics & Engineering S.A. Takata had originally asserted four patents relating to capacitive occupant sensors against IEE in the U.S. District Court of the District of Delaware. IEE turned to the patent attorneys at Brooks Kushman, who responded by filing an action against two Takata units in the Eastern District of Michigan, where IEE’s U.S. headquarters is located, alleging that Takata infringed IEE’s own patent and seeking a declaratory judgment that IEE did not infringe any Takata patents.
The district court granted summary judgment in favor of IEE on all four patents. Afterward, the parties settled the litigation on terms very favorable to IEE. The success of this lawsuit enabled IEE to continue growing its successful business as a market leader in the industry.