The Toro Company, Bloomington, Minn., has agreed to settle all of its outstanding litigation with Advanced Sensor Technology, Inc. The parties’ patent infringement, trade secret, false advertising and other claims and counter-claims were resolved without any admission of liability or wrongdoing, nor any licensing arrangement, by either party. No other terms of the confidential settlement were released.
Both companies will continue to compete in the field of soil sensing with their respective technologies, Toro’s Turf Guard® product and AST’s UgMO™ product, and they’ve agreed not to disparage one another’s product. Both companies agree that customers will see substantial benefits from measuring soil moisture, salinity and temperature to create healthier turf and manage their water usage with greater precision.
While Toro believes that its Turf Guard® product never infringed a patent that AST licensed, Philip Burkart, Toro’s Vice President, Irrigation businesses, said that Toro nevertheless agreed to make a modification to the Turf Guard® source code in order to address AST’s concerns and resolve the dispute. The modification does not impact Turf Guard®’s performance or functionality.
“We’ve long said that we respect the valid intellectual property rights of others,” said Burkart. “The litigation cast a cloud over wireless soil sensing technology in our industry, so we’re happy the issues are resolved and that our customers can continue to purchase the Turf Guard® system with complete confidence.”
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