Nicolas Labbit is defending his team’s hard work. Drone Control, LLC applied for and won patents for Intelligent Flight Modes, Course Lock and Home Lock in DJI speak and Absolute Control if you talk Parrot. These were granted on Valentines Day 2017. The action against Parrot and DJI kicked off last Friday, the 17th of March 2017.
In short, it undoes the problem new users face when controls seem to reverse when flying back towards yourself (they don’t). That is too complex an explanation, like this.
The inventors were Katherine C. Stuckman, and Michael D. Reynolds. The Patents were filed in 2008.
Drone Control LLC became a Domestic Limited Liability Company (LLC) on Monday, August 1, 2016. Nicolas Labbit was the general manager of Drone Control, LLC.
Things change, Nicolas then becomes Synergy Drone (sounds like a team from the Apprentice) on the 21st of November 2016. They live at 5850 Granite Pkwy Ste 215, Plano, TX.
Where does it go from here, is it down to the lake?
Nicolas has not done much in the drone world But he is busy in the Patent world a Google search immediately throws up two stories.
Twenty Five Patent infringements against Banks in 2015 and the splendidly named Jakuta Diode who went after Ford Motor Co., General Motors Co., American Honda Motor Co. and five other companies.
I know of at least one other flight controller that existed before 2008 that used this method of flight control. If under a different name. I am certain you dear sUAS News reader can remind me of more.
I won’t mention the one I am thinking of as no doubt a patent case will head their way!
Good luck to DJI and Parrot I hope they prevail against this nonsense.
Download DJI Filing and Parrot SA Filing
Highlights from the DJI court document
17. Plaintiff Synergy Drone owns patents relating to methods, systems, and devices for controlling radio-controlled vehicles, including helicopters and other aircraft (“RC vehicles”).
18. Plaintiff Synergy Drone protects its proprietary rights in such technologies through the use of patents. For example, Synergy Drone owns patents relating to improvements in controlling RC vehicles in modes other than from the perspective of the RC vehicle, such as from the perspective of a remote control device or a user of a remote control device.
19. Defendants develop, manufacture, market, and distribute drones and drone-related products, both in the United States and internationally.
20. Many of the Defendants’ drone and drone-related products utilize control modes that allow the user to control the Defendants’ products in a mode from a perspective of a remote control device or a user of a remote control device, rather than from the perspective of the drone or drone-related product being controlled. For example, some of Defendants’ products operate in “Intelligent Flight Modes,” which include at least “Course Lock” mode and “Home Lock” mode, both of which allow the user to control the product from a perspective of a remote control device or a user of a remote control device. Case 1:17-cv-00242-LY Document 1 Filed 03/17/17 Page 5 of 22 6 21.
Defendants have incorporated innovative features of the Synergy Drone Patents into their drone and drone-related products, as explained below.
85. The Defendants could have learned of the ‘913 patent when it issued. When Nicolas Labbit, general manager of Drone Control, LLC, the immediate past predecessor in interest of the ‘375, ‘368, ‘918, ‘116, and ‘913 patents, sent a letter to Defendants on September 28, 2016, apprising Defendants of the ‘375, ‘368, ‘918, and ‘116 patents, the application that led to the ‘913 patent was pending at the United States Patent Office, and is directly related to the ‘375, ‘368, ‘918, and ‘116 patents. Defendants could have easily monitored this application until the ‘913 patent issued on February 14, 2017. Therefore, Defendants either knew or should have known about the ‘913 patent at least as of February 14, 2017, when the ‘913 patent issued. And yet, Defendants have continued to commit acts of infringement and have failed to cease their infringing activities. Because Defendants either knew or should have known of the ‘913 patent but acted despite an objectively high likelihood that their actions constituted infringing activities. Because Defendants either knew or should have known of the ‘913 patent but acted despite an objectively high likelihood that their actions constituted infringement of a valid patent, Defendants’ infringement has been, and continues to be, willful.
86. As a result of Defendants’ infringement of at least claims 1, 3-6, 8-11, and 13-15 of the ‘913 patent, Plaintiff Synergy Drone has suffered monetary damages in an amount yet to be determined, and will continue to suffer damages in the future unless Defendants’ infringing activities are enjoined by this Court.
87. Defendants’ wrongful acts have damaged and will continue to damage Plaintiff Synergy Drone irreparably, and Plaintiff has no adequate remedy at law for those wrongs and injuries. In addition to its actual damages, Plaintiff Synergy Drone is entitled to a permanent injunction restraining and enjoining Defendants and their respective agents, servants and employees, and all persons acting thereunder, in concert with, or on its behalf, from infringing at least claims 1, 3-6, 8-11, and 13-15 of the ‘913 patent.
Bonus music reference from above