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ExxonMobil Wins Suit

DALLAS -- The federal government has admitted infringing on an Exxon Mobil Corp. petroleum patent and agreed to pay the oil giant $2,583.

The president of an ExxonMobil subsidiary that sued the government four years ago called the settlement "very satisfactory."

Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller said ExxonMobil had claimed that the patent was worth hundreds of millions of dollars. The settlement amount, which was disclosed by the government but not by ExxonMobil, "speaks for itself," the Associated Press reported.

The subsidiary, Exxon Mobil Research and Engineering Co., charged that the Department of Energy infringed two of its patents for converting natural gas to liquid petroleum. The violations occurred in 1996 at a government plant in LaPorte, Texas.

The oil company said it sued to protect two of Exxon Mobil Research's more than 450 U.S. patents in gas-to-liquids technology. The settlement was approved by the federal appeals court in Washington, the company said.
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