Coherency Cube dispute - arbitrators favor Amoco (August 1998)

Amoco has won the first round in the fightwith Landmark over the rights to use coherency technology.

In July 1997, Amoco sued Landmark for infringement of their Coherency Cube patent. As reported in PDM (Vol 1 no 6 and Vol 2 No 7) the case claimed infringement of the patent through the use of Landmark's competing Continuity Cube software - part of the Poststack interpretive processing package. At the time, Landmark disputed the merits of Amoco's infringement claim by virtue of a claimed contractual right to offer the Continuity Cube software pursuant to a 1991 agreement between Amoco and Advance Geophysical Corporation which was acquired by Landmark in 1994.


The latest decision, by a three-member panel of legal experts, determined that, based on the two-page 1991 contract-programming agreement, Landmark has no rights under the Coherency Cube patent. The technology covered by the 1991 agreement is said to "differ significantly" from the technology disclosed in the 1996 Coherency Cube Patent. Amoco said that the arbitrators' decision confirms its position that under the 1991 agreement, Landmark and its customers do not have any rights under Amoco's Coherency Cube patent. Amoco "hopes" Landmark will now agree to Amoco's long-standing request that the offending software be withdrawn from the market.


Failing this, and without the suitable resolution of other differences with Landmark, Amoco has stated that it will "vigorously pursue the remaining aspects of the patent infringement suit". Those who wish to try out coherency processing without incurring Amoco's wrath should talk to Houston-based Coherence Technology Company (CTC), CTC have an "undisputed license" from Amoco for use of the Coherency Cube patent.

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