DJI hit with $279M jury verdict in drone patent lawsuit
DJI might be pushing the boundaries of consumer drone technology with its latest product, the world’s first triple optical camera drone, but the company is on the hook for a mighty $279 million judgment after a federal jury in Texas decided it infringed on two patents held by Textron, a US aerospace manufacturer.
A federal district court jury in Waco, Texas, has awarded $279 million in damages to Textron, which owns military rotorcraft maker Bell Helicopter.
Textron argued that two popular features on DJI drones, automatic hovering and vehicle following, are based on Bell patents, which are now owned by Textron.
According to Textron, the follow-a-vehicle feature is based on US patent number 8,014,909 “control system for vehicles,” which enables pilots of helicopters and tiltrotor aircraft to follow ships and land on them. The same technology also enables DJI consumer drones to follow snowboarders down mountains or follow cars around…