The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has affirmed the judgment of infringement of three National Instruments patents by Massachusetts-based The MathWorks, Inc. The patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 4,901,221; 4,914,568; and 5,301,336, relate to National Instruments LabVIEW software, which contains major innovations in programming design tools. A fourth patent, No. 5,291,587 was found valid but not infringed.
In June 2003, the Honorable T. John Ward of the District Court for the Eastern District of Texas (Marshall Division) upheld the jury's January 2003 verdict finding validity and infringement of National Instruments' patents, and issued an order forbidding the sale of The MathWorks Simulink software product once any appeal has been disposed of in favor of National Instruments.
National Instruments continues to offer the LabVIEW Simulation Interface Toolkit, which adds the LabVIEW user interface to the Simulink environment. With the LabVIEW Simulation Interface Toolkit, design engineers can use LabVIEW-based user interfaces to intuitively control and view data within their control models. The toolkit gives The MathWorks customers a licensed manner to control and view Simulink data under these National Instruments patents.
The company anticipates using a significant portion of the judgment’s proceeds to fund academic research and classroom projects for improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics education.