US rival attacks Aust traffic-cam maker

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Melbourne-based digital camera maker Redflex Traffic Systems has been accused of patent infringement by a US rival.

Melbourne-based digital camera maker Redflex Traffic Systems has been accused of patent infringement by a US rival.

Redflex Holdings, the ASX-listed holding company owner of Redflex Traffic Systems, said small US-based competitor Nestor had issued a patent infringement claim against the red light camera vendor.

Graham Davie, CEO at Redflex Holdings, said in a statement that the company had sought legal advice on the claim, which it believed was groundless.

"Such advice is to the effect that such patent is not breached by the Redflex product," he said.

Davie said that Redflex would "vigorously defend" itself should Nestor take its allegations further.

"Redflex intends to contact Nestor and explain fully why no patent infringement has occurred," he said.

Meanwhile, Redflex would not be deflected from its ongoing rollout and expansion plans, Davie said.

Redflex's business has been storming ahead in the US in the past year, with the subsidiary adding more than half a dozen new contracts in one $35.8 million deal.

On 15 July, the firm installed its 300th photo enforcement system in the US, and announced a 40 percent jump in revenue for the second half of the 2003-04 financial year.

The company has contracts with 67 cities in 10 countries, including 52 towns in 11 North American states. It claims to be the largest provider of digital red light photo enforcement services in North America.

Bruce Higgins, president and CEO at Redflex Traffic Systems, said the firm had signed 13 new deals and two contract extensions in the November-December time frame, and aimed to raise US$9.6 million in capital by the end of 2004.

Redflex Holdings also includes digital switching specialist Redflex Communications Systems (RCS), a complementary firm to Redflex Traffic Systems. Both companies do their own systems engineering, system integration and R&D.

RCS systems are used by the Australian army, civil aviation, NSW State Rail and in airports in Dubai, Fiji, Mauritius and Bahrain.

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