May 25, 2007 – A New York District Court has ruled that two patents relating to 3D ball array inspection technology granted to Scanner Technologies Corp. and the focus of litigation against ICOS Vision Systems are invalid and unenforceable, due to misrepresentations, questions about prior art, and key differences in the company’s products.
ICOS and Scanner have traded litigation for the past several years over this inspection technology. In answer to the original suit brought by Scanner in 2000, the NY court ruled that the two Scanner patents are invalid because they are “obvious in view of prior art,” some of which came from ICOS. The court also ruled that there was “inequitable conduct” at play — the patent review had been accelerated because Scanner had assured that ICOS had based an infringing system on Scanner’s technology. In fact, the court said, ICOS equipment did not infringe the patents because it doesn’t incorporate triangulation or precalculated calibration plane.
Scanner said in a statement that it is “reviewing the decision and its options in responding to the court’s decision.”