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Category Archives: laser

Hollow-core waveguide for high power lasers; Raydiance’s U.S. Pat. No. 8,554,037

Raydiance Inc. of Petaluma, CA received U.S. Patent No. 8,554,037 on October 8, 2013 for a hybrid waveguide with a hollow core having outer solid-web regions that are filled with gas to provide specific light transport characteristics for transmitting ultra-short, high-power laser pulses.

US8554037_fig5     US8554037_claim1

According to the ‘037 patent, conventional solid core and cladding waveguides are not suitable for transporting high-energy and ultra-short pulse width laser beams (e.g., greater than 0.1 joule per square centimeter, shorter than 10 picoseconds) due to light-induced distortions and damage to the waveguide.  While a hollow core waveguide can be less sensitive to such powerful laser beams, conventional hollow core waveguides (e.g., Bragg fibers and photonic bandgap fibers) require particular materials and fabrication techniques, and have stringent dimensional constraints.  The ‘037 patent discloses a hybrid waveguide having a multiple-region hollow core with a gas-filled center region and multiple gas-filled outer regions within a surrounding solid web material.  The gas species, pressures, and geometric distributions of the gases filling the center region and the outer regions are selected to tailor the refractive indices of these regions to provide the desired optical propagation.

According to the company’s website, Raydiance markets femtosecond lasers for precision micro-machining applications that can cut structures in metals, polymers, glass and other materials by laser ablation without introducing thermal damage to the remaining material.  The website also includes a few videos that show their lasers in action (one of which shows a laser machining the company logo in the head of a match without the match igniting), and a blog on laser-based precision manufacturing.

 

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Optics for sorting spermatozoa; Sexing Technologies’ U.S. Pat. No. 8,502,976

Here’s an application of optics that I didn’t know existed: sex sorting of semen for artificial insemination. That is the motivation behind U.S. Patent No. 8,502,976 which was awarded on August 6, 2013 to Inguram LLC (dba Sexing Technologies) of Navasota, TX for its “UV Diode Laser Excitation in Flow Cytometry” invention.

                 US8502976_fig2          US8502976_claim1

The ‘976 patent describes a use of flow cytometry in which a pulsed stream of liquid containing suspended  sperm cells is irradiated by a laser beam at a wavelength chosen to cause fluorescence, e.g., by a fluorochrome dye bound to the genetic material.

According to the ‘976 patent, “[b]ecause X-chromosome bearing spermatozoa contain more DNA than Y-chromosome bearing spermatozoa, the X-chromosome bearing spermatozoa can bind a greater amount of fluorochrome than Y-chromosome bearing spermatozoa.”  Depending on the measured amount of fluorescence emitted by a droplet, the droplet can be deflected (e.g., by applying a charge on the droplet and then having the droplet fall through an electric field) into one selected container or another.  For cattle, the difference in DNA is only 3.8%, but that is enough to distinguish X-chromosome bearing cells (for producing cows) from Y-chromosome bearing cells (for producing bulls).  According to the company’s website, “[t]he sorting technique is proven to be routinely 93% gender accurate,” and the purified sperm can then be frozen for later artificial insemination.

 
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Posted by on September 23, 2013 in detector, fluorescence, laser, medical, sorting

 

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MGA Entertainment liable for willfully infringing Innovention Toys’ patent for a laser/mirror board game

A jury in the Eastern District of Lousiana found last week that MGA Entertainment‘s “Laser Battle” board game which uses a laser beam and a series of mirrors willfully infringed U.S. Pat. No. 7,264,242, owned by Innovention Toys LLC.  The jury set the amount of damages to $1.6 million.  According to an article from Law360, this litigation has been going for more than five years, with many twists and turns along the way.  Innovention’s attorney fees during this five-year saga will likely take a large bite out of the damages, but Innovention has stated that they will be pursuing additional enhanced damages for MGA’s willful infringement, potentially tripling the total damages they collect from MGA.

Innovention Toys markets its own game called “Khet,” in which players “move Egyptian themed mirrored pieces after which they fire their REAL (eye-safe) laser with the goal of blasting their opponent’s pharaoh to win the game.”  I think that any of us that have aligned optical elements of a laser system on an optical table can immediately envision how the game works.

The company’s FAQ page seeks to manage the expectations of its customers by explaining that while the game’s Class II lasers, lower in power than most laser pointers, give “the neat effect of firing a laser to bombard your opponent’s pieces, you will not get the wow effect of seeing it melt or blow holes through the playing field.” 

The game is played by optics students and researchers in breakrooms around the world, and a Khet tournament was held at the 2010 Photonics West conference.  It also has been used in classrooms to teach some basic principles of light and optics. 

 

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Photonic milling system; Electro Scientific Industries, Inc.; U.S. Pat. No. 8,178,818

U.S. Patent No. 8,178,818, issued on May 15, 2012 to Electro Scientific Industries, Inc. (ESI) of Portland OR, discloses a photonic milling system using dynamically modulated beam arrays.

     

High-power lasers are used in semiconductor electronics fabrication for micro-machining by ablating selected materials to form various structures.   The ‘818 patent discloses a “photonic milling” system that uses a beamlet array to mill away selected conductive material (e.g., to remove an electrical connection between two conductive circuit portions).  According to the ‘818 patent, a pulsed laser beam is parsed into a beamlet array, and the beamlets are each modulated and focused onto the workpiece.  The workpiece is moved around underneath the optical system by an x-y positioner in coordination with the delivery of the modulated beamlet array to ablate specific targets on the surface of the workpiece.

According to its website, ESI markets “innovative, laser-based manufacturing solutions for the microtechnology industry,” and its product line includes laser systems (e.g., for fuse processing, trimming, and micromachining) that can utilize the laser milling system of the ‘818 patent.  According to the USPTO database, ESI received 24 U.S. patents in 2010, 34 U.S. patents in 2011, and 14 U.S. patents (so far) in 2012.

 
 

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Bragg grating with asymmetric reflectance spectrum; Redfern Integrated Optics, Inc.; U.S. Pat. No. 8,121,449

U.S. Patent No. 8,121,449, issued on February 21, 2012 to Redfern Integrated Optics, Inc. (RIO) of Santa Clara, CA, discloses a planar photonic waveguide with a Bragg grating having an asymmetric reflectance spectrum.

The ‘449 patent explains that a Bragg grating formed in a planar waveguide generally has a reflectance versus wavelength with a central peak at the Bragg wavelength and multiple side lobes with lower reflectances located on either side of the peak.  For some applications (e.g., filtering), these side lobes are desirably as small as possible, so that the Bragg grating reflects only light having the Bragg wavelength.  For other applications (e.g., external-cavity lasers), suppression of the side lobes on the longer-wavelength side of the peak are more important than those on the shorter-wavelength side.  The ‘449 patent discloses a structure of the planar waveguide’s Bragg grating that has a cross-sectional dimension that varies symmetrically in both directions along the grating from a center of the grating such that the longer-wavelength side lobes are suppressed relative to the shorter-wavelength side lobes.

According to its website, RIO “develops and manufactures optical sources and subsystems based on its proprietary planar external cavity laser technology.”  RIO’s PLANEX™ series of narrow linewidth single frequency external cavity laser diodes is described as consisting of “a gain chip and a planar lightwave circuit (PLC) that includes a Bragg grating.”  There’s no indication on its website whether RIO’s products utilize the type of Bragg grating described in the ‘449 patent.

The ‘449 patent almost was never issued because of a missed deadline.  The USPTO mailed an office action to RIO’s representative in April 2008 in which most of the claims were rejected, but some claims were deemed to include allowable subject matter.  Applicants are given a maximum of six months to respond to such office actions, however, RIO never filed a response within this time period, so the application was deemed abandoned by the USPTO.  Nearly three years to the day after the office action was mailed, in April 2011, RIO filed its response to the office action, along with a petition and fee to the USPTO to revive the patent application on the basis that the entire delay in responding was unintentional.  The petition was granted soon afterwards, and the ‘449 patent eventually issued. 

Under its rules, the USPTO does not require evidence be submitted in support of the statement that the entire delay was unintentional.  The USPTO can request additional information if there is a question that the entire delay was unintentional, but basically, the USPTO merely checks to see that the required forms and fees have been submitted.  However, even when the petition is granted and the patent is issued, there can be a black mark on the patent that can give a competitor an opening to get away with infringement.

For example, if RIO ever sues an accused infringer of the ‘449 patent, the accused infringer will likely challenge the validity of the ‘449 patent on the basis that RIO’s entire delay in responding actually was not unintentional (e.g., by proving that RIO knew of the abandonment for a period of time before preparing and filing the petition to revive).  If the accused infringer is successful, the patent would be deemed invalid, so there would be no infringement.  Thus, by being abandoned and then revived, the ‘449 patent has a shadow on it that could affect its ability to exclude others from making, using, and selling the claimed invention. 

 

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U.S. Patents of the 2012 Prism Awards Finalists: Green Photonics and Sustainable Energy

For the “Green Photonics and Sustainable Energy” category, the three finalists for the 2011 “Prism Awards” are:

According to Cogenra’s website, its Sunbase® and SunDeck® solar cogeneration solutions are sold as turnkey installations for solar hot water and electricity to commercial, industrial, and government customers.  The company touts its combination of photovoltaics and thermal transfer system as a “proprietary technology [that] captures up to 75 percent of the sun’s delivered energy and converts it into both electricity and hot water within a single solar array” yielding five times the energy of traditional PV systems. 

According to the USPTO database, Cogenra has 8 pending U.S. patent applications and two pending PCT applications, directed to various aspects of its technology.  Cogenra was successful in using the USPTO’s “Green Technology Pilot Program” to get expedited examination of one of its U.S. patent applications (US2011/0017267 A1), but unfortunately, this examination has so far resulted in the claims of this application being rejected twice.  While Cogenra is continuing to pursue these claims, the company has apparently soured on expedited examination, since it has not petitioned for such examination on any of its other applications. 

In my experience, the USPTO’s Green Technology Pilot Program is a great way to speed up the process of getting a patent through the USPTO, and it’s free (except for the relatively minimal cost of having the petition prepared and filed by your patent attorney).  Even though Cogenra has run into some difficulty getting the one application to issue, it’s probably worthwhile to expedite at least some of its other applications, especially since there are only approximately 500 spots left in the USPTO’s Green Technology Pilot Program.  The USPTO does have a new “Prioritized Examination” program (part of the America Invents Act recently enacted into law), but it costs an additional $2,400 (for small entities; $4,800 for large entities) to apply.  For applications directed to any technologies that can be characterized as “greentech,” the USPTO’s Green Technology Pilot Program can be a less expensive way to get a U.S. patent in hand sooner rather than later.

According to its website, nanoplus was founded in 1998 by former members of the Applied Physics Department at Würzburg University.  The company recently announced its distributed feedback (DFB) laser diodes with wavelengths between 2900 nm and 3500 nm, stating that its “patented distributed feedback laser diodes deliver single mode emission with well defined optical properties enabling a wide range of applications.”  The company explains that since “[t]he near-infrared wavelength range up to 3 μm comprises many absorption features of gases of great relevance for industrial applications, such as water and carbon dioxide,” its DFB laser diodes can be used in industrial gas sensing applications to monitor pollutants and greenhouse gases and to monitor and increase the efficiency of burning processes. 

According to the USPTO database, nanoplus has 7 U.S. patents, some of which are directed to the company’s lateral coupled grating technology (e.g., U.S. Pat. No. 7,776,634) which is presumably used in its 3 μm DFB laser diodes. 

According to Opalux’ website, the company’s mission is to “accelerate the commercialization of new technologies and applications based on the exciting platform of photonic color.”  Its “Photonic Ink” or “P-Ink” technology “combines the Photonic Crystal structure with electrically active polymer materials” whereby the dimensional changes induced in the active polymer shift the wavelength of light reflected from the material.  A company video shows a “P-Ink” numeric display in action, in which the portions of the numeric display change color, primarily from red to green, but with some instances of blue and yellow seen as well.  Opalux is coming into the Photonics West conference having recently been awarded the “IDTechEx Printed Electronics USA 2011″ award for “Best Technical Development Materials.”

According to the USPTO database, Opalux has four pending U.S. patent applications (e.g., US2011/0164308 A1), all national stage filings from PCT applications originally filed in Canada.  At first, I was struggling to see why the “P-Ink” technology would be placed in the “Green Photonics and Sustainable Energy” category.  While the technology may lead to more efficient displays in the future, it seemed like the reason may be that the fit into the other categories is even more strained.  However, another of Opalux’ US patent applications (US2011/0104535 A1) is directed to using the technology for battery life indicators – a use which seems to fall more squarely into the “green photonics” category, and which may end up being the first commercial use of the technology. 

If you like, you can register your guess regarding which product you think will win the Prism Award in the poll below.  Based on the fact that it already has some U.S. patents and its product has a strong “green” utility, I’m guessing that nanoplus will win.  

Also, if you’re planning on being at the Photonics West conference and are interested in talking about patents, I’d enjoy meeting you, so feel free to contact me at @Itchkawitz or at bsi “at” kmob “dot” com.

 

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U.S. Patents of the 2012 Prism Awards Finalists: Optics and Optical Components Category

I will be attending the upcoming 2012 Photonics West conference in January 2012, and I’d enjoy meeting any readers of the Photonics Patents™ blog that may also be attending.  If interested, please feel free to contact me at @Itchkawitz or at bsi “at” kmob “dot” com.

One of the highlights of the Photonics West conference will be the 2011 “Prism Awards”, scheduled to be presented by SPIE and Photonics Media on Wednesday, January 25th for innovations in the field of photonics.  Prior to the awards, I thought it’d be interesting to look at the U.S. patents and published patent applications of some of the finalists in various categories.

The three finalists in the Optics and Optical Communications category each have filed U.S. patent applications directed to the products for which they have been nominated:

Haas LTI’s recently-published U.S. patent application US2011/0249342A1 describes a method for thermally compensating lenses in an optical system for high power lasers by “harnessing the thermal advantages of fused silica and offsetting the [positive] change in index of refraction [versus temperature, i.e., dn/dT] with a second material having a negative dn/dT.”  Listed examples of suitable materials include CaF2, BaF2, LiF2, NaCl, and KCl.  According to the USPTO website, Haas’ application was recently examined by the USPTO, which found that some of the claims recite allowable subject matter.  I expect that Haas will make the relatively minor changes which will place the application in condition for allowance, likely resulting in the patent issuing in early 2012.  The company will likely also file a continuation application (perhaps via the company’s pending PCT application: WO2011/127356) to pursue additional scope of protection, perhaps including apparatus claims (which can often be more desirable than method claims).

Optotune’s recently-published patent application US2011/0267680A1 describes a device using an optical element connected to a polymer film that is electroactive, i.e., is responsive to an electric field applied to the film.  In response to an oscillating electric field, the polymer film distorts so as to displace the optical element back and forth, thereby destroying visible speckling effects.  While the USPTO has yet to examine the U.S. application, a corresponding PCT application has been examined by the European Patent Office, which found that the claims were not patentable in view of prior art references.  Optotune will have the opportunity to respond, either by presenting arguments regarding the prior art, amending the claims, or both.

Earlier this year, PixelOptics received U.S. Pat. No. 7,971,994, directed to spectacles having a pair of electroactive lenses and a synchronization transmitter which coordinates changes of the refractive indices of the two lenses to adjust the optical power of the lenses while they are worn.  This U.S. patent is one of a series of patents owned or licensed by PixelOptics, directed to adaptive focusing lenses, which have the potential of making bifocals and progressive lenses a thing of the past.  The core technology was developed by researchers at the University of Arizona (UA), and PixelOptics has a license to UA’s patent application US2006/0164593A1, which even though filed in 2006, is still winding its way through the USPTO.  While the application has received multiple rejections, a review of the file history shows that the examiner has recently agreed that some proposed claim amendments overcome the existing rejections, but that further searching of the prior art and consideration will be necessary to determine patentability. 

So which product do you think will win the Prism Award?  Based on the sizes of the patent portfolios, as well as the consumer goods aspect of the product, PixelOptics seems to have an edge over either Haas LTI or Optotune.  Take the poll below to see if the collective wisdom of the internet can make the right guess.

 

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Laser system with multiple-pass pump beam; Apollo Instruments; U.S. Pat. No. 8,014,433

U.S. Patent No. 8,014,433, issued on September 6, 2011 to Apollo Instruments of Irvine, CA, discloses a laser system with multiple spherical mirrors that pass a pump light beam multiple times between the mirrors.

According to the ‘433 patent, the power of a laser beam can be increased by increasing the number of passes of the pump light through the lasing material.  However, in existing systems, the number of passes is limited by the size and number of mirrors used to direct the pump light, as well as the complexity of the mechanical system used to support the many mirrors.  The ‘433 patent discloses a system and method that avoids the problems of other systems to direct the pump light through the lasing material many times by using a pair of optically-coupled imaging systems with non-coincident optical axes.   

According to its website, Apollo Instruments manufactures and sells fiber-coupled laser diodes, fiber lasers, and other laser systems that “press the limit of today’s power and brightness levels together with superior performance.”  The website also explains that with the company’s “superior pumping source, fiber lasers delivering more than 300W in a high quality beam (TEM00) have been conveniently realized.”

The ‘433 patent provides a lesson in the value of having a patent attorney prepare a patent application and represent the applicant before the USPTO.  Apollo had first filed a patent application that one of the inventors prepared back in 2005.  The USPTO allows inventors to prepare and file their own application and represent themselves before the USPTO (the Latin phrase is “pro se,” which means “on one’s own behalf”).  However, the USPTO does not relax its rules regarding requirements for such applications.  Even if it wanted to give a break to such pro se applicants, the USPTO is not permitted to apply the patent laws differently to different groups of applicants.  Given the complexity of U.S. patent laws and the potential for destroying the possibility for obtaining patent protection, the aphorism that “a physician who treats himself has a fool for a patient” has a corollary in inventors serving as their own patent attorney/agent.

Upon reviewing Apollo’s first application in 2007, the USPTO found that it did not conform to the various requirements with regard to the information provided and the format in which this information is given.  The application was rejected on a whole series of bases, both substantive and formality-based, and the USPTO noted that “applicant is unfamiliar with patent prosecution procedure” and advised him to seek out the services of a registered patent attorney or agent to prosecute the application.  While the USPTO cannot aid in selecting a particular attorney/agent, it does provide a list on its website: www.uspto.gov.

After receiving this rejection, Apollo Instruments wisely retained a patent attorney, who was able to cure the format issues raised by the USPTO, but he was unable to convince the examiner to withdraw the substantive rejections.  Apollo appeared to be interested in appealing the examiner’s decision to the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, but instead decided to file a continuation-in-part application in 2008, which resulted in the ‘433 patent.

According to the USPTO database, Apollo Instruments owns seven U.S. patents, including the ‘433 patent.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2011 in high power, laser

 

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Fiber MOPA without stimulated Brillouin scattering; Mobius Photonics, Inc.; U.S. Pat. No. 8,009,705

U.S. Patent No. 8,009,705, issued on August 30, 2011 to Mobius Photonics, Inc. of Santa Clara, CA, discloses a fiber-based master oscillator power amplifier (MOPA) that generates optical pulses using a photonic crystal fiber.

    

According to the ‘705 patent, conventional high-power laser sources (e.g., for laser micromachining) utilizing a MOPA system cannot generate the high-power laser pulses with pulse widths longer than about 1.7 nanoseconds.  Among the phenomena that can limit the pulse width is stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS), in which a significant portion of the amplified light is converted to Brillouin-scattered light having a lower frequency than the incident light.  In the system disclosed by the ‘705 patent, seed pulses (e.g., from a distributed-feedback or distributed Bragg-reflector type semiconductor diode laser)  are amplified by a photonic crystal fiber amplifier which generates pulses having a peak power greater than 1 kilowatt, but less than the threshold power needed to induce stimulated Brillouin scattering.  This threshold can be increased by frequency chirping the seed pulses. 

According to its website, Mobius Photonics was founded in 2005 and “develops innovative, fast-pulse (from 100’s of picoseconds to 10’s of nanoseconds), fiber-based laser sources for the scientific and industrial markets.”  According to the USPTO database, the ‘705 patent is Mobius’ fourth U.S. patent, and its first in 2011.

During prosecution of the ‘705 patent, the USPTO rejected the pending claims, citing various prior art references.  One of these rejections cited an earlier-filed application owned by Mobius (which resulted in U.S. Pat. No. 7,529,281) under 35 U.S.C. § 102(e) of the patent law. 

Section 102(e) states that a claim should be rejected if it is anticipated by a patent granted on an application “by another” filed in the US “before the invention by the applicant.”  Under this provision of the patent laws, an applicant’s own work cannot be used against the applicant.  Another provision of the patent laws (§ 102(b)) does allow a public disclosure of applicant’s own work to be used against the applicant if the disclosure occurred more than one year before the priority date, but this condition did not arise in this case.

Under current US law, the applicant is the group of named inventors, not the owner of the application.  For example, although Mobius owns both applications, the applicant for the ‘705 patent (i.e., the two inventors) is different from the applicant for the ‘281 patent (the same two inventors, plus two other inventors).  On its face, since the inventorship is not identical, the ‘281 patent satisfies the “by another” requirement of § 102(e).

However, Mobius was successful in proving to the USPTO’s satisfaction that the ‘281 patent did not actually satisfy this requirement of § 102(e).   Mobius filed a declaration in which the two inventors common to both the ‘281 patent and the ‘705 patent asserted that the two of them, and not the other two listed inventors, were the true source of the relied-upon subject matter of the ‘281 patent.  Thus, this material and the claims of the ‘705 patent came from the identical group of individuals, so it is not “by another” and it cannot be used to reject the claims of the ‘705 patent.  Once Mobius attended to the other rejections, using arguments and claim amendments, the USPTO fould the ‘705 patent allowable.

Earlier this year, the “America Invents Act” was signed into law, which includes numerous changes to US patent law, most notably a change from a “first to invent” priority system to a “first inventor to file” priority system (effective for applications filed on or after March 16, 2013).  The act also includes a complete re-writing of § 102 (also effective on March 16, 2013), but which appears to preserve the concept of a disclosure of an inventor’s own work not being usable against him/her, as long as the disclosure occurred within one year of the priority date. 

 
 

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VCSEL with improved high-frequency performance; NeoPhotonics Corp.; U.S. Pat. No. 7,903,712

U.S. Patent No. 7,903,712, issued on March 8, 2011 to NeoPhotonics Corp. of San Jose, CA, discloses a VCSEL structure having a reduced capacitance and improved high-frequency performance.

 

A vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) is a semiconductor laser diode having a stacked quantum well structure between two reflectors that emits laser light perpendicularly to the stack with a resonant wavelength.  To allow the resonant wavelength to be tunable, one of the reflectors can be placed on a cantilever arm that is deflected electrostatically to vary the spacing between the reflectors, and hence adjust the resonant wavelength.

According to the ‘712 patent, various properties (e.g., the single mode, surface mode, and compact size) of VCSELs make them desirable for use in fiber optic telecommunication systems.  However, parasitic capacitance can degrade the output power of such VCSELs, and existing methods of reducing the capacitance using deep proton implantation to create electrically isolating regions have several drawbacks (e.g., damage that cannot be annealed away, damage to the cantilever, increased processing times).  The ‘712 patent discloses an etch process to create voids that physically and electrically isolate the device active area, thereby reducing parasitic capacitance, without proton implantation.

According to its website, NeoPhotonics is “a leading designer and manufacturer of photonic integrated circuit, or PIC, based modules and subsystems for bandwidth-intensive, high-speed communications networks.”  The company raised about $83 million through its initial public offering on February 2, 2011 with a starting price of $11.00/share.  The share price quickly reached a high of about $21/share, but is currently priced between $8-10/share. 

Reviewing the file history of the ‘712 patent, it apparently began as a patent application filed by Bandwidth9, Inc. in September 2004 after the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August 2004.  NeoPhotonics eventually purchased the patent application that resulted in the ‘712 patent from Bandwidth9.  However, during the transfer from Bandwidth9 to NeoPhotonics, a reply to a pending USPTO notice was not filed, so the patent application went abandoned.  The error was not discovered by NeoPhotonics for about two years, upon which the company filed a petition for revival of the application on the grounds that the delay in replying to the USPTO notice was unintentional. 

Such revivals of abandoned patent applications are permissible under U.S. law, as long as that the entire delay in filing the required reply was unintentional.  Generally, all that is required is a statement by the applicant that the entire delay was unintentional, but in cases where the USPTO questions whether the entire delay was unintentional, the USPTO can require further detailed information regarding how the delay came to be, as was done for this application.  After examining the additional information provided by NeoPhotonics, the USPTO granted the petition for revival.

Partially due to this unintentional delay, the ‘712 patent issued with an additional 1913 days of patent term (the time that the patent may be asserted against accused infringers).  The standard term of a U.S. patent is 20 years from the filing date of the patent application, however, in certain circumstances, additional time may be granted, e.g., to make up for delays in the USPTO’s handling of the patent application.  As a result, instead of expiring in September 2024, the full patent term of the ‘712 patent will not expire until about December 2029.

According to the USPTO database, NeoPhotonics received three U.S. patents in 2010 and seven in 2009.  The ‘712 patent is the first U.S. patent obtained by NeoPhotonics in 2011, with a second one (U.S. Pat. No. 7,905,114 regarding a method of forming optical fiber preforms) having been issued on March 15, 2011. 

 
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Posted by on March 24, 2011 in laser, semiconductor, VCSEL

 

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