Grüneberg and Myers - Intellectual Property Law


News and Recent Developments

Broad Claim Construction Leads to Invalidity of Blue LED

In Trustees of Boston Univ. v. Everlight Elecs. Co. the Fed. Cir. reversed the district court’s denial of defendants JMOL for invalidity.  The patent claimed a semiconductor device comprising a substrate, a non-single crystalline buffer layer and a growth layer comprising GaN grown on the buffer layer.  Based on a claim interpretation of “non-single crystalline buffer layer” covering 1) polycrystalline, 2) amorphous and 3) a mixed polycrystalline/amorphous layer and interpretation of “grown on” as formed indirectly or directly, on the buffer layer, the Fed. Cir. held that six permutations were covered but that the failure to enable direct growth on an amorphous layer rendered the full scope of the claimed invention, non-enabled.  In a case of be careful what you ask for, BU’s proposed claim construction covering a purely amorphous layer required BU to defend against an enablement challenge as to the claim’s full scope. 

Richard Chinn