At 03:21 PM 1/15/97 -0500, Brian David Vanhiel wrote:
>How can you be:
>"committed to avoiding illusion and being open, honest and thorough, with
>our customers and competitors alike"
>"No competitor has viewed AAROFLEX technology or any of our commercial
>systems currently in production."???
Since acquiring rights to the DuPont solid imaging technology in 1995,
AAROFLEX, Inc. has welcomed all interested parties to visit our facilities
and view the AAROFLEX Solid Imager. We have never prohibited anyone from
visiting our headquarters and examining our equipment (upon the execution of
appropriate non-disclosure agreements). During the past nine months, we've
been fortunate to have had numerous potential customers and industry
representatives evaluate (and several to ultimately purchase) our System(s).
During those visits, we have endeavored to carefully explain the details in
the differing technical aspects of the commercially-available
stereolithography systems, as we are confident that an educated customer is
our best customer.
During our negotiations with DuPont, AAROFLEX Chairman Albert C. Young, Jr.
telephoned executives of 3D Systems to advise them of our option to purchase
the technology and discuss areas of mutual cooperation or conflict. At that
time, 3D Systems' executives stated they were not interested in further
discussion related to the DuPont technology. As we approached the commercial
debut of the AAROFLEX Solid Imager at the Rapid Prototyping and
Manufacturing Conference in April 1996, Chairman Young, with the assistance
of Richard Aubin of United Technologies, again attempted to begin dialogue
with 3D Systems, requesting a meeting with Chuck Hull and other 3D
executives to discuss the modifications and improvements made to the DuPont
technology prior to our commercialization. A meeting was originally agreed
to by 3D and scheduled during the Dearborn event. However, subsequently, 3D
Systems withdrew their participation hours before the scheduled meeting.
We have always believed competition would benefit our company as well as 3D
Systems -- and most significantly, the users of stereolithography
technology. We believe representatives of 3D should be able to capably
discuss the technical differences in our systems. Therefore, at industry
events we have been hospitable and thorough in our explanations of the
features of our equipment. For example, during the Dearborn event, the
following 3D Systems' employees, representatives and sales agents (among
others) visited our booth: Sidney Alpert, Ken Baun, Bill Bishop, Laura
Bishop, John Davis, Richard Fedchenko, John Florip, Chuck Long, Todd
Mueller, John Muir, Frank Mustazza, Jim Morrissey, Jay Steidle, Charles
Stevens and Dennis Van Zante. I doubt that any of these individuals would
say we were anything but "open, honest and thorough" (not to mention,
downright friendly ... we are Virginians, you know.) In fact, our Chairman
personally provided a specification sheet, upon request, to Mr. Alpert, 3D
Systems' Vice President and General Counsel. However, none of these
interactions, discussions or exchanges nor the printed materials provided,
went into technical depth adequate enough to justify a charge of
infringement against any of our solid imaging systems.
Thank you for the question. We welcome your inquiries and sincerely
appreciate the communications of the many supportive industry individuals
who have expressed interest and concern in our activities.
It looks to be another exciting year in the rapid prototyping industry.
K. Kaisha Halcli
8550 Lee Highway, Suite 650
Fairfax, VA 22031 USA
703.573.0690 fax 703.849.1206
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