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Composite Rotor Sues Beckman Coulter for Patent Infringement

08 August 2000

Composite Rotor, Inc., an industry leader in the manufacture of rotors for use in laboratory centrifuges, has filed a complaint for patent infringement against Beckman Coulter, Inc. in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California in San Jose. Composite Rotor specializes in the design and manufacture of centrifuges made of composite materials, similar to the materials used in the aerospace industry. Composite material centrifuge rotors are stronger and lighter than the metal rotors they replace, reducing acceleration and deceleration times of the centrifugation process, reduces the load, and wear and tear, on the centrifuge and reduces centrifuge damage in the event of rotor failure. In addition, composite materials in centrifuge rotors resist corrosion from many solvents used in centrifugation better than other rotor materials. Composite Rotor holds several patents covering the use of composite materials in centrifuges. Composite Rotor has sued Beckman for infringing two of Composite Rotor's patents, U.S. Patent Nos. 5,382,219 and 5,562,582. "We have been attempting to resolve this matter informally with Beckman, but after Beckman ignored our correspondence for months on end it became apparent that Beckman was not participating in those discussions in good faith," said Composite Rotor CEO Gus Malek-Madani. "As a result, we have been forced to resort to using the courts to protect our intellectual property." Composite Rotor Inc. was founded in 1990 to design, manufacture and market rotors, the key component used in centrifuges. CRI has established its brand of advanced centrifuge rotors KOMPspin(R), as a technologically leading product in the research laboratory market replacing aluminum and titanium rotors. Later the company applied carbon fiber composite technology and advanced centrifuge system technologies to a series of table-top centrifuges. The core technology of the company revolves around applications of aerospace composite structural material and techniques to centrifuge rotors as well as the latest advancements in centrifuge drive systems.