Quantum Dot Rivals Settle Patent Suit

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In a previous post I discussed a patent infringement suit between Palo Alto nanotechnology company Nanosys and its Manchester, U.K. rival, Nanoco Technologies (Nanoco), involving Nanoco’s quantum dot technology. 

In that suit, Nanosys alleged that Nanoco and Nanoco’s U.S. distributor, Sigma-Aldrich, were infringing U.S. Patent Nos. 6,861,155 (‘155 patent), 6,322,901 (‘901 patent), 7,125,605 (‘605 patent, 6,821,337 (‘337 patent) and 7,138,098 (‘098 patent) by making and selling quantum dot technology sold under the brand name Lumidots (nanosys_complaint.pdf).

Quantum dots are nano-scale semiconductors that emit near-monochromatic light when subjected to light or electrical stimulation.  Among the many applications of quantum dots are diode lasers, LEDs and solar cells.

Last month Nanosys announced that it had reached a settlement with Nanoco.  According to the press release, Nanoco agreed to terminate its Lumidots business in the U.S. but did not admit infringement or validity of the asserted patents. 

The asserted patents include two patent families: the ‘155, ‘901 and ‘605 patents are entitled “Highly luminescent color selective nanocrystalline materials” and are directed to nanocrystal particles having a semiconductor core and a semiconductor coating that emit light in a narrow spectral range.  The core consists of cadmium sulfur, cadmium selenium or cadmium tellurium, and the coating is zinc sulfur or zinc selenium.

The ‘337 and ‘098 patents, entitled”Preparation of nanocrystallites,” are directed to nanocrystallite manufacturing methods.  The ‘337 patent describes the method as follows:

The method includes contacting a metal, M, or an M-containing salt, and a reducing agent to form an M-containing precursor, M being Cd, Zn, Mg, Hg, Al, GA, In or Tl.  The M-containing precursor is contacted with an X-donor, X being O, S, Se, Te, N, P, As, or Sb.  The mixture is then heated in the presence of an amine to form the nanocrystallite.

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Eric Lane

Eric Lane, the founder and principal of Green Patent Law, is an intellectual property lawyer and registered U.S. patent attorney in New York and is a member of the bar in New York and California. Eric has more than two decades of experience working with wind, solar PV, CSP, biofuels, and geothermal, energy storage technologies, carbon capture and sequestration, medical devices, data communications, mechanical, chemical, internet and software.