By Blake Brittain
April 24, 2023
Logos of Chinese drone maker DJI are seen on the facade of its store in Beijing, China December 15, 2021. REUTERS/Carlos Garcia Rawlins
April 24 (Reuters) - U.S. aerospace company Textron Inc (TXT.N) won a $279 million verdict on Friday against Chinese drone maker DJI Technology, persuading a federal jury in Waco, Texas that DJI willfully infringed its patents.
The jury agreed with subsidiary Textron Innovations Inc after a week-long trial that DJI's drones violate its rights in two patents related to drone flight control systems.
A DJI spokesperson said in a statement Monday that the company "strongly disagrees" with the verdict and will "vigorously pursue all options" to defend its legal rights.
"Textron is a military helicopter company. DJI is a civilian drone company. No commonality exists between the technologies," the statement said.
Textron said in a statement Monday that it was "grateful" that its "history of innovation was recognized."
Providence, Rhode Island-based Textron sued DJI in 2021, claiming several types of DJI drones with automatic hovering capabilities work in the same way as its patented technology.
DJI denied the allegations and argued that the patents were invalid.
The U.S. Department of Defense banned Americans from investing in DJI and other Chinese companies last October based on their alleged ties to the Chinese military. DJI said at the time that it "has never marketed or sold its products for military use in any country."