Go to the website for the US District Court of Delaware and then go to the link on decisions. Stroll through them until you come to the Research Frontiers decision issued on March 31. Then read it and you will see what I am talking about.
There are other issues in the lawsuit besides this one defense concerning the Tata patent, including the issue of infringement itself. However, the fact that RFI has an expert witness and E Ink does not will give RFI a significant advantage in front of the jury. RFI will hammer home that E Ink has no scientist to explain away RFI's contention. I expect that the expert witness will also have a significant effect on the issue of infringement, inasmuch as part of the infringement rests upon E Ink having to copy RFI's method of making the matrix of suspended emulsion in which the particles are suspended.
All in all, a good decision for RFI. E Ink ought to think seriously about settlement at this point.
The court denied the motion for summary judgment dismissal filed by E Ink on one of the patent claims. The denial was based on the court's view that there were disputes of fact concerning whether RFI's patent had been made unenforceable by a prior patent with the same art filed by Tata. So now the case will go to jury trial on that issue. Significantly, however, the court noted that RFI presented an expert witness who analyzed the science behind both the Tata patent and the RFI patent, to show the differences, while E Ink presented none. The court was unwilling to accept the assertions of the E Ink lawyer that the patents were the same, saying that it could not fail to give weight to the testimony of the RFI expert witness.
The decision is available on the website of the US District Court of Delaware. It has mixed results and I do not have enough scientific background to be able to construe it well. Perhaps others do and can help?
For one thing, the Court distinguishes between SPD light valves and EPD units and says that EPD units are not included within the scope of the SPD patent. Apparently, E Ink uses an EPD process. That , however, is not the end of the story, as it seems that the EPD process itself could infringe on the use of the polymer matrix in the film.
The Court next adopts the E Ink definition of the term "light valve" as a unit that controls the transmission of light by first being suspended in Brownian movement and then opening to transmit light when an electric charge is transmitted. I don't know if this is a markedly significant factor in favor of E Ink, in that I don't know if E Inks capsules don't operate by Brownian movement etc.
The rest fo the definitions seem to favor RFI's positions. It seems significant that the SPD emulsion reflects heat. It seems significant that the particles come in contact with the polymer matrix within the film and that the Court seems to agree with RFI that a capsule itself, (such as E Ink's?) could form part of the polymer matrix that is dispersed in the film.
I am left with the impression that an EPD capsule (like E Ink's?) may operate differently than a SPD particle but that the EPD capsule still has to operate within the composite matrix within the film and could thereby infringe upon the matrix suspension, which may be what RFI's patent covers. (ie the patent covers both the particle and the matrix emulsion dispersed throughout the film, with a heat reflecting oxide.)