Tech Transfer eNews Blog

Purdue wins PTAB challenge and will continue infringement suit surrounding silicon carbide semiconductors patent

By Jesse Schwartz
Published: November 16th, 2022

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has denied two separate challenges to the patentability of a Purdue Research Foundation patent involving silicon carbide semiconductors.

The patent, US 7,498,633, covers groundbreaking technology invented by engineering professor James Cooper and his graduate student/postdoc Asmita Saha. The denied petitions were filed by STMicroelectronics and Wolfspeed in response to Purdue’s patent infringement lawsuits in an attempt to invalidate the patent and stop the litigation. A previous challenge was denied in June 2022.

Purdue sued ST, one of Europe’s largest chip makers, in 2021, alleging that the company’s metal-oxide semiconductor field-effect transistors (MOSFETs) infringe the school’s semiconductor patents. The MOSFET technology is used in solar HVAC systems, car charging stations, and other renewable-energy products to control and amplify the flow of electricity.

The Purdue complaint also says ST induces others to infringe through their distribution and sale of infringing products and by instructing end users how to use them in an infringing way.

With the PTAB ruling, the lawsuit can now proceed. “This is another great victory for Purdue,” said Ken Waite, chief patent counsel and director of intellectual property at the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. “As with the previous action, the USPTO has once again affirmed the validity of the patent on Cooper’s and Saha’s work. These actions just underscore the strength of this patent and the value of the technology.

Waite added: “Protecting Purdue University intellectual property and bringing that technology to the world is at the heart of our mission at OTC. We take our role as steward of these great inventions very seriously. As we have stated before, we follow the law throughout the process, and hold ourselves and others accountable.”

Source: Convergence

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