October 23, 2007 — /PRNewswire/ — SUNNYVALE, CA — Aquest Systems, a developer of innovative automation solutions for the global semiconductor industry, today announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has issued a broad patent to protect Aquest’s FabEX(TM) automated material handling system (AMHS). While most patents take more than three years to receive, this patent only took 18 months due to a special accelerated examination granted by the USPTO.
The first of a series of patents currently pending in the U.S. and internationally, patent number 7,281,623 was issued and assigned to Aquest Systems on October 16 and includes 36 claims surrounding Aquest’s FabEX AMHS technology. Specifically, the patented technology concerns FabEX AMHS’s ability to transport wafer containers via front-opening unified pods (FOUPs) at high speeds (>3 m/second) throughout a semiconductor fab. It also allows the FabEX system to move FOUPs around curves and ramps while minimizing moving parts and vibrations to increase system reliability.
Commenting on the technology patent, Aquest’s chief engineer and principal inventor Barry Kitazumi notes, “Aquest’s unique FabEX technology has enabled us to produce a system that far exceeds the speed and capacity of other systems in the market. As a result, we are committed to protecting our technology prowess — taking the steps necessary to preserve the integrity of our intellectual property.”
Aquest’s FabEX product portfolio helps deliver on the company’s vision for No-Wait-Manufacturing(SM) by enabling chipmakers to significantly reduce or eliminate the unnecessary waits or delays that negatively impact both the productivity and profitability of their fabs.
Aquest’s innovations are protected by a web of patents involving numerous leading-edge features. Aquest is leveraging the experience of Mihir Parikh, the founder of Aquest Systems and previously the founder of Asyst Technologies, in creating next-generation AMHS technologies, while utilizing Palo Alto, CA law firm Carr and Ferrell LLP’s extensive background in protecting and enhancing the ideas and innovations that drive businesses around the world.
In addition to the recently issued patent, Aquest has more than a dozen other patents pending, both in the United States and internationally, focused on protecting FabEX’s unique capabilities. These include reducing delivery time, increasing transport capacity, easing installation, and ensuring maintainability and flexibility.
About Aquest Systems
Founded in 2004, Aquest Systems is the pioneer of No-Wait-Manufacturing(SM) (NWM) automation technologies for the worldwide semiconductor industry. A truly global company, Aquest employs a worldwide organization to efficiently leverage talent and resources in the United States, Japan, Taiwan and India. The company is privately held and headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA. More information can be found at www.aquestsystems.com.
No-Wait-Manufacturing (NWM) is a service mark of Aquest Systems.
FabEX is a trademark of Aquest Systems