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US, UK Judges Uphold Corning Patents

Photonics Spectra
Nov 1998
Robert C. Pini

Corning Inc. has arrived at a settlement with Plasma Optical Fibre B.V. of Eindhoven, The Netherlands, and two affiliates, Yangtze Optical Fibre and Cable Co. Ltd. of Wuhan, China, and Chromatic Technologies Inc. of Franklin, Mass. The large telecommunications products company had taken legal action to uphold US and UK patents on its process of applying a protective coating to optical fiber.
The settlement will result in two consent orders being issued, one by the US International Trade Commission and the other by the High Court Justice in the UK. "We are pleased that the validity of this patent has been upheld," said Wendell Weeks, Corning's senior vice president for optoelectronics.
Although terms of the settlement were not disclosed, the US consent order sets forth that the defendants acknowledge the US patent's validity. Additionally, the three companies agree not to import, sell for importation or resell any optical fiber in the US that infringes Corning's patented process.
Similarly, the consent order from the High Court Justice orders Plasma Optical Fibre not to import fiber made by patented process into the UK.
Corning initially filed a petition with the International Trade Commission in April, contending that the defendants, all held by parent company Draka USA, were manufacturing single-mode and multimode fibers at their facilities using Corning's proprietary process.

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