Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
German court favors Quad's patent positions regarding component alignment systems
Keywords Quad Systems, Zevatech, Patents
Quad Systems Corporation has announced that in an oral hearing on 22 February 2000, the German Federal Supreme Court indicated that in its forthcoming written decision, a German patent of Quad's competitor Zevatech AG (German patent DE 33 40 084) will be nullified. Additionally, the court indicated that it would further restrict the claims of one of Zevatech AG's European patents (patent EP 0144 7 17). These two patents relate to a patent infringement suit initiated by Zevatech AG in the German District Court in 1996. Zevatech AG claimed in the infringement suit that certain patented technology was infringed by Quad's component alignment system.
After Zevatech's patent suit in the German District Court began, Quad's invalidity suit in the Patent Court partially supported certain aspects of Quad's position, while still upholding certain claims of the patents. Subsequently, Quad appealed the Patent Court's decision to the German Federal Supreme Court, contending that the two patents and all of their claims were null and void or should be further restricted.
Quad's alignment system is marketed under the QuadAlignTM brand and is currently used on Quad's "C" and "Q" SeriesTM - of IC placement systems, as well as some Samsung Aerospace SMT chip mounters. The QuadAlign system automatically aligns and inspects components during assembly of printed wiring boards. The patented QuadAlign system is designed to enable, even at high throughput rates, an accurate placement of a wide range of SMT chip and integrated circuit components, as well as semiconductor die.