Laser Patent May Be Invalid
Electro Scientific Industries Inc. of Portland, Ore., reported that the US Patent and Trademark Office has announced in a preliminary decision that some of the claims in the company's patent on the laser processing of multilayer structures are unpatentable. Electro Scientific plans to respond to the nonfinal first office action, which followed re-examination of the patent under a claim made by General Scanning Inc., now GSI Lumonics Inc. of Kanata, Ontario, Canada.
The decision does not affect a 1999 injunction prohibiting the use, manufacture or sale of memory repair systems based on 1.3-µm lasers that was levied against General Scanning by a US District Court in California. The injunction accompanied a $13.1 million damage judgment against the company for infringement on the patent in question.
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