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Meade Instruments Files Patent Suit

June 06, 2002|Bloomberg News

Meade Instruments Corp. said Wednesday that it has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against rival Celestron International Inc., a week after the U.S. government sought to block Meade from buying the rival telescope-maker.

The lawsuit, filed against Celestron and its parent, Tasco Worldwide Inc., also names any prospective buyers of Tasco or Celestron. Meade, based in Irvine, said the suit also names James S. Feltman, a trustee assigned the assets of Tasco and Celestron as an alternative to a bankruptcy liquidation.

The patent covers a method that lets novice telescope users align a telescope's computer without having knowledge of the heavens. Meade says Celestron's NexStar telescopes and Tasco's StarGuide telescopes infringe on the patents. The suit seeks damages and a court order blocking sales of any infringing products.

It is the second patent-infringement suit filed by Meade against Celestron, based in Torrance, and Tasco, based in Miramar, Fla. The first suit, filed last October, accused them of copying Meade's automated-telescope patent.

Meade was in talks to buy Celestron, but the Federal Trade Commission said on May 29 that it would fight any attempt by Meade to buy all or certain assets of Celestron, the second-largest maker of high-performance telescopes. Meade is the largest maker.

Officials at Celestron couldn't be reached for comment.

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