Search Menu
Photonics Media Photonics Buyers' Guide Photonics EDU Photonics Spectra BioPhotonics EuroPhotonics Industrial Photonics Photonics Showcase Photonics ProdSpec Photonics Handbook
More News
Email Facebook Twitter Google+ LinkedIn Comments

Court to Hear Cognex Appeal

Photonics Spectra
Mar 2002
Daniel C. McCarthy

The scales of justice have tipped slightly in favor of Cognex Corp. and the more than 600 other companies that are contesting patent claims by the Lemelson Medical, Education & Research Foundation, Limited Partnership, in Incline Village, Nev.

In late January, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that Cognex, based in Natick, Mass., could raise the doctrine of patent prosecution laches as one of its defenses against the Lemelson Partnership's infringement claims. The doctrine bars patentees from enforcing claims if there was an unreasonable delay in seeking the claim from the Patent and Trademark Office.

Jerome Lemelson, the fourth- most-patented American, applied for several machine vision patents in the 1950s and 1960s and extended and modified them over the 30 years that the Patent Office took to grant them. Then he approached machine vision and bar-code users for license fees, claiming they were violating the patents.

The ruling by the Court of Appeals permits Cognex to argue that Lemelson's modifications during the 30-year process constitute an unreasonable delay, rendering his patents unenforceable. If Cognex's laches defense succeeds in trial court, the vast majority of the foundation's patent claims could be deemed unenforceable.

Legal experts have estimated that patents assigned to the Lemelson foundation could provide it with more than 600 licensees and revenues of about $1 billion. Most of those cases are on hold, awaiting the results of the Cognex lawsuit, which is expected to go to trial in August.

Businessdefenselight speed

Terms & Conditions Privacy Policy About Us Contact Us
back to top
Facebook Twitter Instagram LinkedIn YouTube RSS
©2019 Photonics Media, 100 West St., Pittsfield, MA, 01201 USA,

Photonics Media, Laurin Publishing
x Subscribe to Photonics Spectra magazine - FREE!
We use cookies to improve user experience and analyze our website traffic as stated in our Privacy Policy. By using this website, you agree to the use of cookies unless you have disabled them.