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Published May 15, 2009, 12:00 AM

Alien Technology timeline

In 2003, a group of banks, economic development agencies and state and local governments put together a $36 million financing package – a combination of low-interest loans, government training programs and private funds – to lure Alien Technology to Fargo.

By: Forum staff reports, INFORUM

In 2003, a group of banks, economic development agencies and state and local governments put together a $36 million financing package – a combination of low-interest loans, government training programs and private funds – to lure Alien Technology to Fargo.

The package included the Bank of North Dakota lending nearly $3 million to California-based Alien and the city of Fargo giving a 10-year property tax exemption on a manufacturing plant.

Here is a timeline of events related to Alien’s Fargo plant:

  • Feb. 7, 2003: Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., announces Alien may build a manufacturing plant in Fargo.

  • July 10, 2003: Alien announces it will locate a 120,000-square-foot manufacturing site in North Dakota State University’s Research and Technology Park.

  • Oct. 13, 2003: Alien holds a ceremonious groundbreaking for Phase 1 of the site, a 47,250-square-foot facility.

  • June 7, 2004: Alien begins production at a temporary site in south Fargo. Construction of the full-scale plant is delayed six to 12 months.

  • May 6, 2005: Work begins on the manufacturing plant at 1830 Research Circle.

  • June 1, 2006: Alien sues Intermec Inc., claiming it has made public threats to sue Alien for patent infringement. Alien officials say the threats could affect Alien’s plans for a $25 million expansion. The case is scheduled for a jury trial Aug. 10, 2009. Intermec files a counter lawsuit.

  • July 28, 2006: Alien withdraws its pending initial public offering with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

  • Oct. 9, 2006: A grand opening is held for the new plant, finished at 36,238 square feet, more than 10,000 square feet smaller than expected.

  • Aug. 14, 2008: In a visit to Fargo, Alien CEO George Everhart says the company expects to double its 2007 growth this fiscal year and to double this year’s growth in fiscal year 2009.

  • Fall 2008: As part of the U.S. government’s 2009 defense appropriations bills, NDSU and Alien Technology awarded $2 million for radio frequency identification technology on Navy ships.

  • Dec. 11, 2008: Alien drops lawsuit against Avery Dennison Corp. in an unrelated lawsuit filed in August. Alien claimed Avery, a rival “smart chip” manufacturer, infringed on its patents.

  • March 25: A status conference scheduled in the legal dispute between Alien and Intermec is canceled. It has yet to be rescheduled.

  • April 9: A federal judge appoints a special master to assist with the “numerous, complex motions for summary judgment” in the legal dispute because the court doesn’t have sufficient resources to resolve the motions prior to the August trial.

  • April 29: Alien tells The Forum it is considering closing its Fargo plant.

  • Thursday: Alien announces it will close the plant.

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