17 November 2017
Veeco’s preliminary court injunction upheld after challenge by SGL Carbon
Epitaxial deposition and process equipment maker Veeco Instruments Inc of Plainview, NY, USA says that the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York has denied the motion of SGL Carbon LLC to suspend the 2 November preliminary injunction issued by the court prohibiting SGL’s sale of wafer carriers for use in susceptorless metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) systems made by Advanced Micro-Fabrication Equipment Inc (AMEC) of Shanghai, China. SGL had filed a motion requesting that the court suspend, or ‘stay’, the preliminary injunction pending a forthcoming appeal by SGL to the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC).
“We are pleased that the court confirmed its prior ruling and denied SGL’s request to stay the injunction,” says Veeco’s chairman & CEO John R. Peeler. “We are confident that we will prevail before the appellate court in any appeal by SGL, and will continue to take steps in the US and abroad to enforce Veeco’s IP rights.”
The court’s order means that the preliminary injunction, which prohibits SGL from shipping wafer carriers using Veeco’s patented technology, will remain in place during the appeal by SGL. The appeal process at the CAFC usually takes over a year to complete. In its appeal, SGL will bear the burden of convincing the CAFC that the preliminary injunction should be overturned. Appeals of preliminary injunctions are evaluated by the CAFC under the highly deferential ‘abuse of discretion’ standard of review. As a result, Veeco believes that it is highly unlikely that the CAFC will overturn the preliminary injunction, especially in light of statistics showing that a substantial majority of preliminary injunctions are affirmed by the CAFC on appeal.
The action for patent infringement was commenced by Veeco against SGL Carbon LLC and SGL Carbon SE on 12 April. In addition to the preliminary injunction, Veeco is seeking a post-trial permanent injunction, monetary damages and other relief.