Update: Inge Govaerts, corporate public relations manager at Barco, sent rAVe the following statement Tuesday:
“It has been a tough case for both parties, but the starting point has been that it was believed that there was such clear evidence of objectionable actions that the outcome was a trial. Barco is of course disappointed not to have been heard in the case. We will now take the time to process this comprehensive ruling (106 pages in Norwegian) and it will be thoroughly reviewed internally.”
Back in mid-2019, Barco NV and Barco Fredrikstad AS sued Norxe AS, and 10 of its employees, in the Fredrikstad District Court for violating intellectual property in the debut of the P1 projector. This case has wiggled through the courts over the past 20 months, and in a written verdict from the Borgarting Appeals Court, dated Feb. 11, 2021 (and not yet legally enforceable), that the Norxe P1 appears to use Norxe technology in collaboration with “strategic partners” — meaning it wasn’t using technology that came from Barco’s original intellectual property. Thus, the Borgarting Appeals Court acquitted Norxe and its employees of all claims made by Barco.
The Appeal Court stated, inter alia, that:
“It has been clarified and acknowledged by the plaintiffs that P1 does not build on Barco technology. P1 is developed within a normal time period from scratch but with assistance from major suppliers like Philips and Texas Instruments…. P1 seems to have been successful and chosen by several customers. The court regards this as a normal and good competition in the market and for the best of customers. Norxe offers a product that customers see as better than Barco’s and that comes with a long warranty.”
In addition, according to the ruling, the Appeals Court found that Barco could be liable for any economic loss due to the suit brought against Norxe. Though Barco’s legal liability has not been established, the level of financial loss could be subject to negotiations or new legal proceedings.
Norxe CEO Kjell Einar Olsen commented, “Ex-Parte” (one-sided) surprise-seizure at Norxe’s premises, where all data files on the main server in addition to private PC’s and mobile phones were copied, finally has come to a conclusion by the Borgarting Appeal Court. We will now focus 100% on developing, manufacturing and selling our unique projectors to select and demanding partners worldwide. We owe our partners a great appreciation for standing alongside and supporting us through these difficult times and the increased strength in relationships that this support has forged.”
Vice President Global Sales, Espen Olsen, commented that, “Despite the very challenging campaign Barco instigated against us in the market, we have been able to successfully grow our sales since the P1 was introduced in November 2016, and more recently the P2 RGB LASER projector. There is no doubt that we make a major difference with our partners regarding our products, people and behavior. While we are clearly ahead of competition with the P1 and P2, we now look forward to introducing a new range of even higher performance native 4K projectors that will again raise the bar and strengthen our product portfolio.”
We reached out to Barco for a response but, as of publishing time, we had not heard back yet. We will update this story as needed.