DuPont verses Heraeus patent claims dispute remains bitter feud

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Claims by Heraeus that DuPont was forced to narrow its patent infringement claims over metallisation paste material composition have been refuted by the company.

DuPont filed two lawsuits a year ago, one against Heraeus and one against its customer SolarWorld, based in Oregon for claimed patent infringement.

Recently, Heraeus lost its motion to have the Oregon case dropped and Du Pont was granted a trial by jury.

However, Heraeus has claimed in statement that DuPont “was forced to narrow its claim, conceding that Heraeus' commercially available products do not literally infringe DuPont's patent.”

In response, DuPont said in a statement that Heraeus' motion did not narrow DuPont's case.

“The Court rejected every part of Heraeus' argument, finding that Heraeus' position “is overly simplistic and ignores recent Federal Circuit case law.”  That Court also ruled that DuPont is entitled to a jury trial as to infringement, saying that “t is apparent to the court from the record already existing in this case that there are genuine factual issues as to whether Heraeus' accused products infringe the '504 patent . . . .”

Yet, Heraeus referenced in its statement that: “DuPont's counsel stated on the record, 'We do not assert literal infringement as to any of the products that are at issue in Heraeus' motion. So that theory is simply not part of the case.' This means that DuPont's allegations are now limited to a much weaker theory called the doctrine of equivalents, where the accused products do not fall within the literal scope of the patent-at-issue but are alleged to be similar enough for a finding of infringement.”

DuPont believes that documentation already presented to the court proved sufficient for Heraeus' motion to be denied.

“Heraeus tried to end this lawsuit early, but the Court agreed with DuPont,” said Darren Haar, global business director, DuPont Microcircuit Materials.  “We will continue to enforce our intellectual property where we find infringement.”

Proceedings are expected to begin in the first case in October, 2014. A date for the case in Oregon has yet to be released. 

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