News Article

Laser Suppliers Clash Over Sapphire Scribing

US laser systems manufacturer New Wave Research is taking its Japanese rival Laser Solutions to court in a bid to secure rights to supply UV laser scribing technology to the key Taiwanese market.

Fremont-based New Wave Research has begun legal proceedings in Taipei against Laser Solutions of Kyoto, in the belief that its patent covering sapphire substrate scribing with UV lasers has been infringed.

The initial injunction prevented Laser Solutions manufacturing or selling its RAPYULAS MP-T1 030 and MPT-2030 equipment, with reference to New Wave s Taiwanese patent, No. 194157, covering the US company's scribing procedure and system.

However, Laser Solutions was able to remove this restriction on posting a bond to secure against potential loss by New Wave resulting from business taken by the Japanese company, in the event that the injunction is upheld.

It has since done so, continuing to trade as normal, convinced that its own intellectual property covers its products.

New Wave may have taken on more than it initially realised, as Laser Solutions is adamant that it will “take necessary actions" against its US rival in return, with particular reference to a suspected violation of China's Fair Trade Act.

“We have retained Lee and Li, the largest law firm in Taiwan, to present our position," the Japanese company explained.

This is the second time in a year that New Wave has taken out such an injunction, having previously moved against the Taiwanese equipment manufacturer Uni-Via Technology over the same application.

Laser Solutions highlights that such injunctions do not examine the merit of the case and, with both companies taking aggressive stands, it could be some time before the legal status of this sapphire-processing technology is fully illuminated.

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