In the patent The dispute over patent rights led to a lawsuit on 26 May 1967 Honeywell Inc. against the ENIAC patent, held by Sperry Rand on behalf of Mauchly and Eckert in the District Court Minneapolis, Minnesota. The process, one of the longest and most expensive in the federal courts in his time, started on 1 June 1971 and lasted until 13 March 1972, featured 77 witnesses. She was legally resolved on Friday, 19 October 1973, when U.S. District Judge Earl R. Larson declared the patent invalid, ruling that the ENIAC had inherited many key ideas of the Atanasoff-Berry Computer. Judge Larson said quote, “Eckert and Mauchly did not invent them alone and the first automatic digital electronic computer, if they left from one of Dr. John Vincent Atanasoff”. The decision in Honeywell Inc. v. Sperry Rand Corp. et al. was so well corroborated that there was no appeal. But the verdict was hardly publicized at the time, perhaps because it was overshadowed by the Watergate investigation.Despite claims of Atanasoff, his victory was not complete as the ENIAC, and not the ABC continues to be considered the first modern computer.