Orange County Cloud Computing Co. Asks USPTO To Reexamine Rival’s Patent

By Joseph Mandour on September 18, 2012

Computer Patents AttorneyOrange County – Irvine, California based Netlist Inc., a cloud computing memory company, said today it asked the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last week to take another look at a recently issued patent that rival SMART Modular Technologies Inc. claims Netlist is infringing.

SMART sued Netlist in the Eastern District of California on Sept. 10 over memory subsystem technology, saying Netlist’s HyperCloud memory module products provide rank multiplication capability that infringes the technology covered by U.S. Patent Number 8,250,295, which issued on Aug. 21.

The ‘295 patent’s claims are invalid over a number of prior art references that were not previously considered by the USPTO, Netlist said. SMART was in possession of at least one of these prior art references during the prosecution of the ‘295 patent but failed to disclose it to the USPTO, according to Netlist.

“The claims in the patent application that resulted in the ‘295 patent were repeatedly rejected by the USPTO over the course of eight years,” Netlist President and CEO C.K. Hong said. “The only independent claim to survive the process was not examined in view of relevant prior art.”

In contrast to SMART’s one patent and lone independent claim, Netlist has a portfolio of 25 patents and pending applications containing hundreds of claims directed to rank multiplication and load isolation technologies, the company says.

“None of our current or pipeline products rely on any single patent for protection and commercialization,” Hong said. “Finally, all of these patent activities by various parties confirm the tremendous value brought to the industry by Netlist’s intellectual property. We plan to vigorously defend our IP rights and assets as we have successfully done in the past.”

SMART is seeking a declaration that Netlist’s does in fact infringe the patent and is doing so willfully, plus an injunction, damages, costs of the action and other relief.

“As a leader in the field, we have a portfolio of over 60 patents and pending applications directed to innovative technologies embedded in our products,” Hong said after SMART’s suit was initially filed. “None of our current products, including HyperCloud, infringe upon this recently issued ‘295 patent.”

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Posted in: Patent Infringement