February 5, 2007 – A California court has returned a verdict in favor of Asyst Technologies Inc. regarding its patent lawsuit against Emtrak Inc., Jenoptik AG, and other companies in a decade-long dispute over technology used in wafer transport pods.
The verdict supports Asyst’s patent relating to its Smart Traveler technology, and awards approximately $74.7 million in damages (56.7 million euros), but is subject to several post-trial motions which could take months to resolve, and in addition to legal fees these “could significantly reduce” the final amount, the company noted.
In a statement, Jenoptik said it would appeal the decision in a Washington federal court, a process it suggested could last several years. The company claims the Asyst patent “was not valid and should never have been issues,” and says that at any rate the company abandoned its business relating to the technology in question back in 1999.
Asyst launched its suit in 1996 alleging Empak, Emtrak, Jenoptik, and the Infab consortium infringed upon two patents covering aspects of Asyst’s SMIF-based technology for automated lot tracking systems. A court initially dismissed the lawsuit in 2000, but Asyst won a federal court appeal in 2001, remanding the case back to the original