For decades, attorneys at Hamilton Brook Smith Reynolds have protected the intellectual property of innovators for a variety of different semiconductor devices and manufacturing equipment.
Semiconductors are the materials used to make the “chips” that are at the heart of today’s computing revolution—whether it be smartphones, wearable devices, Internet of Things (IoT) devices, computers, or electronics. They are also the materials used to create photovoltaic cells, which are utilized in solar panels.
The change of pace in the semiconductor field is striking. The number of transistors in integrated circuits is ever-increasing, while the price of chips and solar cells is getting lower and lower. And the products that use semiconductor chips, such as mobile phones and computers, are getting smaller and lighter. Meanwhile, the capital cost of semiconductor manufacturing increases exponentially over time, which means that the necessary equipment is more and more costly and complex.
These trends and innovations in semiconductor materials and in the equipment that are used to manufacture semiconductors are transforming both computing and energy production.
Other semiconductor-related technologies include:
- Appliance electronics
- Car electronics Sensors
- Control systems
- Digital cameras
- Internet of Things (IoT) Devices, such as wearable technology and programmable thermostats
- Medical devices and diagnostic equipment
- Military systems
- Mobile phones, smartphones and digital devices of all kinds
We assist clients with protecting innovations related to semiconductor manufacturing equipment. For example, we have assisted a client in developing, over many decades, a large patent portfolio related to vacuum equipment that is used in semiconductor manufacturing. These innovations include those related to cryogenic refrigeration systems and other vacuum processing equipment. We have also assisted another client in developing a large patent portfolio related to materials purity and cutting-edge processing equipment used for handling liquids and gases used in the manufacturing of semiconductors. These innovations include those related to liquid filtration, electrostatic chucks, and airborne molecular contamination filtration, to name a few.
We have also obtained patents for semiconductor materials themselves, including high electron mobility transistor (HEMT) and heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) structures. Specific examples of transistors include bipolar transistors with enhanced transport resulting from selective doping and band gap grading, as well as transistors incorporating iron-doping-stop components and lattice-matched base layers. In addition, we have obtained patents for semiconductor-based laser devices, including distributed feedback lasers and fiber-grating stabilized pump lasers, electro-optical modulators, and optical waveguides.
- Successfully represented a major integrated circuit manufacturer in patent litigation against its chief rival.
- Defended against allegations of infringement of patents in the semiconductor manufacturing field by taking the offensive to enforce our client’s own patent on related technology. We carried out strategic discovery that resulted in a resolution that was favorable to our client.
- Represented the owner of patent relating to semiconductor manufacturing in an infringement action in which we were successful in securing a preliminary injunction against the defendant’s continued infringement. Thereafter, we succeeded in having the defendant found in contempt, and were awarded attorneys’ fees even though the injunction was dissolved based on newly discovered prior art.