Nanoco Group updates on Samsung litigation

Nanoco Group plc (LON:NANO), a world leader in the development and manufacture of cadmium-free quantum dots and other specific nanomaterials emanating from its technology platform, has announced an update on its litigation against Samsung for the alleged wilful infringement of the Group’s IP.

On 17 February 2020, the Group announced that it had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against various Samsung entities in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas.

As reported previously, Samsung had applied to the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (the ‘PTAB’) requesting the institution of inter partes reviews of each of the five patents in the case. An IPR is a standard part of IP litigation and examines the validity of the patents themselves. It often runs in parallel with the judicial process.

The PTAB has now announced its decision to institute IPRs over the five patents. The evidential burden required to be passed in order to have an IPR granted is relatively low. For each patent, Samsung needed to show that there was a “reasonable likelihood that [they] would prevail with respect to at least 1 of the claims challenged in the petition.(1)” Samsung had submitted a number of grounds to challenge each claim and some of the patents have more than 20 asserted claims.

Where the PTAB finds that the evidential test has been met on at least one ground in one claim in each patent, then all of the claims in the patent in question are subject to the IPR process. This includes claims where the PTAB found that Samsung did not pass the evidential burden. At the end of the IPR process, the PTAB will rule on each individual claim as opposed to any of the patents as a whole.

A trial date for the jury hearing into the alleged wilful infringement of the Group’s IP by Samsung has been set for October 2021, though Samsung may now seek (for a second time) to have this delayed until after the IPR process is complete. An IPR process can take 12 months to reach a conclusion and this can be followed by appeals.

Brian Tenner, Chief Executive Officer of Nanoco Group plc, said:

“We are not surprised that the PTAB has decided to implement the IPRs in the five patents and our plans included this eventuality. We note that many of Samsung’s individual grounds of challenge were dismissed against a number of the claims asserted by Nanoco.

“Our confidence in the robustness and credibility of Nanoco’s patents therefore remains unchanged with respect to the IPR process and the parallel judicial process, with any potential extension to the litigation timeframe underpinned by our third party litigation funding.”

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