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AEC settles dispute, plans consortium

ADVANCED Engine Components has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a patent dispute with Gas Torque Engines, and in so doing has disclosed plans to form an Australian industry consortium to supply the natural gas vehicle market. The patent dispute stemmed from a 1992 deal in which Gas Torque transferred its interest in certain intellectual property to AEC. In return, AEC agreed to pay a sales royalty on specific patent applications. The two companies subsequently clashed over whether products sold by AEC incorporated the patented technology. AEC has now agreed to settle the dispute by acquitting Gas Torque, with the consideration being $150,000 in cash and $150,000 in AEC shares. It said settlement of the commercial dispute will enable it to participate in a consortium, which intends providing the Australian natural gas vehicle market with an integrated supply of fuel, infrastructure and gas powered vehicles. AEC’s contribution to the consortium will be the design and supply of four natural gas engine programs. It added that settlement of the Gas Torque acquisition will only occur when AEC executes a formal contract for participation in the consortium.

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