Drives and Controls Magazine
Rockwell accuses two companies of infringing patents
Published:  12 August, 2016

Rockwell Automation has filed a complaint with the US International Trade Commission (ITC) alleging that the Taiwanese controls manufacturer, Advantech, and 3S-Smart Software Solutions, the German developer of the Codesys automation software, are infringing one or more of eight of its US patents covering industrial control systems.

Rockwell is asking the ITC to start an investigation into the alleged infringements and to issue exclusion and cease-and-desist orders against Advantech and 3S-Smart.

Rockwell is already involved in two litigations against 3S-Smart in a Texas court over alleged infringements of its patents.

Rockwell alleges that Advantech and 3S-Smart are unlawfully importing into the US, selling for importation and/or selling in the US after importation, industrial control system software and systems that infringe one or more of eight of its US patents that relate to industrial control systems using advanced software to program, run and visualise industrial processes.

The complaint cites US patents 6,675,226, 6,816,817, 6,819,960, 6,978,225, 7,130,704, 7,650,196, 7,693,585 and 8,799,800.

It refers specifically to 3S-Smart’s Codesys software suite and to Advantech’s WA-CU series of PC-based cabinet controllers, WA-CT PC-based panel controllers, and Adam-5560CDS industrial PCs.

Rockwell says that its ControlLogix controllers, PanelView HMIs and related software, and RSLogix, Studio 5000, RSView and FactoryTalk software products, alone and/or together, apply at least one of the cited patents.

Codesys is a hardware-independent suite of software used to develop control applications based on the IEC 61131-3 programming languages. More than 400 manufacturers of programmable automation components use Codesys in products such as PLCs and variable-speed drives. The Advantech products referred to in the Rockwell Automation complaint use Codesys.