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  • NKT Photonics, Fianium Settle Suit
May 2010
BIRKERØD, Denmark, & SOUTHAMPTON, England, May 7, 2010 — Specialty fibers and fiber lasers maker NKT Photonics A/S of Denmark and England-based ultrafast fiber lasers manufacturer Fianium have settled their 15-month UK patent dispute, the companies announced in separate statements.

NKT Photonics filed suit against Fianium in January 2009 for allegedly infringing two patents relating to pressure control for producing photonic crystal fibers, also known as microstructured fibers, and to the post-processing of such fibers. NKT Photonics markets the industrial-class specialty fibers under the brand name Crystal Fibre.

On April 29, 2010, the English Patents Court ordered Fianium not to infringe the patents (EP 1 340 725 and EP 1 153 324). The court also ordered Fianium to pay for past infringements of the patents, and to pay the legal costs of both parties from February 2009 through February 2010, when Fianium made an acceptable settlement offer.

In its press release Fianium, which produces picosecond and femtosecond pulsed fiber lasers and supercontinuum laser sources based on those lasers, said its current photonic crystal fiber manufacturing processes were not found to infringe NKT Photonics' two patents.

"Fianium makes a nominal payment regarding a small number of lasers produced with alternative PCF manufacturing techniques and agrees to avoid future use of these alternatives," Fianium said in its statement. "Both parties contribute to each others' costs."

"To a pragmatic businessman it was clear that a settlement now, which we consider was positive for Fianium on all significant matters, was the best choice - not least in that it allows us to concentrate fully on what we do best - developing advanced laser technology," said Fianium CEO Anatoly Grudinin. "Fianium respects IP, and welcomes the rational resolution of disputes, but we cannot just be dictated to. That is why we litigated for over a year, with a much larger opponent, to establish that there is no monopoly regarding the manufacture of PCF for our products."

“We are very pleased with the outcome and we remain fully committed to protecting our intellectual property portfolio,” said NKT Photonics CEO Jakob Skov. “In our view, photonic crystal fibers represent a key platform for photonics applications, such as supercontinnum systems and high power lasers. In recent years we have seen a rapid growth in the PCF-based fiber & component sale demonstrating commercial success for our OEM customers.”

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fiber laser
A laser in which the lasing medium is an optical fiber doped with low levels of rare-earth halides to make it capable of amplifying light. Output is tunable over a broad range and can be broadband. Laser diodes can be used for pumping because of the fiber laser's low threshold power, eliminating the need for cooling.
The science of measurement, particularly of lengths and angles.
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