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IMRA Files Patent Suit Against Coherent in Germany

Photonics.com
May 2013
ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 10, 2013 — IMRA America Inc. filed a patent infringement suit in Germany Friday against two Germany-based subsidiaries of laser maker Coherent. The patent relates to using picosecond and femtosecond lasers to micromachine parts used for microelectronics applications.

The lawsuit, filed at the District Court of Duesseldorf, Germany, asserts that certain laser products marketed by Coherent’s German subsidiaries, Coherent Kaiserslautern GmbH (formerly Lumera Laser GmbH) and Coherent (Deutschland) GmbH, infringe the German part of IMRA’s European Patent 0 754 103 B1, a “method for controlling configuration of laser-induced breakdown and ablation.” While IMRA said the patent is considered essential for precisely micromachining most microelectronics materials, the examples given in the patent are gold and glass.

IMRA said the patent was invented by professor Gérard Mourou, now of the Ecole Polytechnique Haut Collège, and his colleagues while he was at the University of Michigan. IMRA is the exclusive licensee of this patent for all nonbiological applications, the company said.

“We have multiple license agreements with many laser manufacturers,” said IMRA America President Takashi Omitsu. “We truly try to avoid filing lawsuits. However, we could not come to a reasonable solution with them for both our existing licensees and ourselves. We filed this suit as a last resort.”

IMRA previously engaged in a six-year fiber laser patent suit with IPG Photonics, with a jury ultimately ruling in IPG’s favor. (See: Jury Rules IPG Did Not Infringe Upon IMRA Patent)

For more information, visit: www.imra.com



GLOSSARY
femtosecond laser
A type of ultrafast laser that creates a minimal amount of heat-affected zones by having a pulse duration below the picosecond level, making the technology ideal for micromachining, medical device fabrication, scientific research, eye surgery and bioimaging.
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