United States: Thelen Wins Patent Infringement Case For Celerity
Last Updated: July 24 2007

SILICON VALLEY (June 28, 2007)—A Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP trial team won a significant patent infringement victory for client Celerity, Inc. in a dispute over the company’s patented gas delivery systems for semiconductor fabrication equipment.

The technology at issue involved gas delivery systems for semiconductor fabrication equipment. In 2003, Celerity came to market with a new fundamental technology for such systems, which quickly became a preferred gas delivery system for major semiconductor equipment manufacturers. Celerity's sales of gas delivery systems using this new technology climbed quickly to $120 million in 2006. Celerity patented the technology embodied in new gas delivery systems.

In 2005, Celerity learned that a competitor, Ultra Clean Technology (UCT), was planning to introduce a gas delivery system that infringed on Celerity's patented design. But following a three-week trial in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, a unanimous jury returned a verdict in Celerity's favor, finding Ultra Clean guilty of infringement with its new gas delivery system, and rejecting all of Ultra Clean's invalidity defenses.

Celerity was awarded monetary damages and a jury finding of infringement, based on UCT’s initial sales of the infringing product. The next phase of the trial will occur later this year as Celerity seeks a permanent injunction from the court barring UCT from further infringement of Celerity’s patented technology.

Joe Foster, chief technology officer and senior vice president at Celerity, had this to say about the outcome: "We are very pleased with the decision of the lawsuit. The unanimous verdict recognizes Celerity’s patent portfolio and the value of our licensing program. We have always believed in the strength of our intellectual property portfolio and remain confident of our position as we move toward the injunctive phase of the court proceeding."

The trial team was led by Thelen Silicon Valley partners Keith Slenkovich and Bob Camors, and associates Richard Swope, Karin Frenza, and Tomomi Harkey. Associates Sam Maselli and Stephanie Johnson also made significant contributions to this two-year litigation effort.

For more information, contact:

Kevin Livingston
National Manager of Public Relations
Thelen Reid Brown Raysman & Steiner LLP

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