Metris U.S.A. and 3D Scanners had sued Faro Technologies for infringement of Patent Nos. 6,611,617 and 7,313,264 related to three-dimensional scanning. Following a trial, Judge Saris ruled that the ‘617 patent was unenforceable due to inequitable conduct. The 66 page opinion lays out in great detail the facts that caused Judge Saris to issue such a rare finding.
The president of 3D Scanners and an inventor on both patents failed to disclose to the Patent Office material information regarding communications between 3D and Faro prior to the invention relating to technology at the heart of certain ‘617 claims, namely the ability for a remote arm of a 3D scanner to provide a stream of position data to a scanner / external processor. Further, there was evidence that his withholding was intentional and that he suggested that perhaps he could convince the defendant to “keeping the prior art quiet”. According to Judge Saris, the president of 3D exhibited, “at the very least, a willful blindness toward…the technology at issue and his responsibilities under the law.”
Crampton’s email, combined with his evasive testimony at depositions and trial, provide clear and convincing evidence of his intent to deceive the patent office.
Metris U.S.A. Inc. v. Faro Tech., Inc., 08-11187-PBS (D. Mass. May 4, 2011)08-11187-PBS