Veeco Seeks to Invalidate AMEC Patent before Beijing IP Court

(Image: Veeco)

Veeco Instruments announced today that it is preparing to appeal to the Beijing IP Court against the decision previously made by the Patent Reexamination Board (PRB) regarding the validity of patent ZL201220056049.5 held by Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc. (AMEC). The patent was upheld as valid by the PRB after AMEC surrendered the broadest claim thereof in response to the invalidation request by Veeco Shanghai. Veeco believes that, although its MOCVD products do not fall within the scope of the remaining claims, the patent claims technology was already disclosed and widely used prior to the patent application date and, thus, the entire patent should be invalidated.

The PRB decision was an administrative decision that relates to the validity of the patent only, and will not become effective before the judicial reviews by Beijing IP Court and Beijing High Court. “We are confident that AMEC’s patent does not include any substantial contribution to the technology and should be invalidated,” said Tim Liu, Senior Vice President, APAC. “Veeco is a leading manufacturer of innovative semiconductor process equipment. Veeco’s MOCVD patent portfolio dates from the mid-1990s to the present. A series of patented MOCVD systems, representing the most advanced technologies, including K300TM (2007), K465TM (2008), TurboDisc® K465iTM (2010) and TurboDisc®EPIK700® (2014), was marketed successively and won Compound Semiconductor Industry Innovation Awards. Veeco respects the intellectual property rights of others, but will not tolerate any infringement of Veeco’s IP rights. Veeco will aggressively pursue IP theft and protect its IP portfolio.”

On November 2, 2017, Veeco Instruments Inc., parent company of Veeco Shanghai, won a preliminary injunction (PI) in a patent infringement lawsuit against SGL Carbon, LLC (SGL) before the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York.  The PI prohibits the sale of wafer carriers by SGL for use in susceptorless MOCVD systems, such as AMEC’s MOCVD systems.  On November 16, 2017, the court confirmed its prior ruling and denied SGL’s request to stay the injunction. “We are confident that we will prevail before the appellate court in any appeal by SGL, and will continue to take steps in the U.S. and abroad to enforce Veeco’s IP rights,” continued Mr. Peeler.

“Contrary to AMEC’s claims, Veeco respects intellectual property rights and does not engage in any infringing activity,” said Peo Hansson, Ph.D., Senior Vice President & General Manager, Veeco MOCVD. “Veeco can provide assurance of uninterrupted wafer carrier supply for its products. We will continue to support our customers with high quality, production-proven and long-life wafer carriers through our exclusive contracts with the world’s leading wafer carrier suppliers.”

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