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1953-1963 1953 Lemelson gets his first patent for an improvement on a beanie with a propeller top. 1954 Lemelson applies for a machine vision/bar code patent. 1963 Patent 3,081,379 issues. Lemelson files continuation applications that repeat figures and text of the ’379 patent. 1972-1977 1972 Lemelson files more continuation applications. 1978 Patent No. 4,118,730 issues. All patents in the recent bar code suit share an identical specification with this patent, which is a continuation of the 1963 patent. 1977 � 1992 Lemelson files more continuation applications for the machine vision/bar code technology; more patents are issued. 1983-1989 1983 U.S. automobile manufacturers adopt a uniform bar code standard. 1989 Lemelson breaks with his attorney, Arthur Lieberman of New York’s Lieberman, Rudolph & Nowack. Lemelson said the break was over a fee dispute. Lieberman tells Corporate Counsel sibling publication The American Lawyer that he is “tired of being called a parasite” by Lemelson’s critics. August 1989 Lemelson hires Gerald Hosier to represent him in an infringement case, filed in 1977 with Mattel over a patent for a flexible plastic toy car track. September 1989 Hosier files new bar code claims to pending applications. November 1989 Hosier sends out letters to electronics, semiconductor, and auto industries explaining they are infringing Lemelson’s bar code patents. December 1989 Jury awards Lemelson $24.8 million in the Mattel case. 1992-1993 1992 Lemelson settles with 12 Japanese automakers for $100 million; closes about 40 more deals, worth about $400 million. June 1992 Federal Circuit overturns Mattel verdict. 1992 � 1993 About 30 more companies settle with Lemelson. 1995-1999 1995 Patent office revises rules; going forward, patents run 20 years from date of first application. 1997 Lemelson dies at age 74. June 1998 Ford settles with Lemelson; GM and Chrysler fall in line; Hosier starts signing up licensees at a “rate of one a day,” according to Fortune magazine. 1998�1999 The for-profit Lemelson, Medical, Education, and Research Foundation sues more than 400 companies, including Wal-Mart, Target, and Radio Shack. 1999 Bar code and machine vision companies, Symbol and Cognex, sue the Lemelson foundation. 2004 January 23, 2004 Judge Philip Pro finds 14 Lemelson patents invalid and unenforceable. Sources: Court papers; “The Sky’s the Limit,” The American Lawyer, May 1993; “Engineer Makes a Fortune on Patent Infringement Suits,” The Wall Street Journal, April 9, 1997; “The Patent King,” Fortune Magazine, May 2001.

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