Purdue Research Foundation wins challenges against silicon carbide semiconductors patent

The Patent Trial and Appeal Board at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday, Nov. 8, denied two separate challenges to the patentability of a Purdue Research Foundation patent involving silicon carbide semiconductors.

US 7,498,633 covers groundbreaking technology invented by James Cooper, Professor Emeritus of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Elmore Family School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in Purdue University’s College of Engineering, and his graduate student/postdoc Asmita Saha. The denied petitions were filed by STMicroelectronics and Wolfspeed in response to Purdue’s patent infringement lawsuits; they were an attempt to invalidate the patent and, thereby, stop the litigation.

All pending challenges on this patent before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office have been rejected. A previous challenge was denied in June 2022.

“This is another great victory for Purdue,” said Ken Waite, chief patent counsel and director of intellectual property at the Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization. “As with the previous action, the USPTO has once again affirmed the validity of the patent on Cooper’s and Saha’s work. These actions just underscore the strength of this patent and the value of the technology.

“Protecting Purdue University intellectual property and bringing that technology to the world is at the heart of our mission at OTC. We take our role as steward of these great inventions very seriously. As we have stated before, we follow the law throughout the process, and hold ourselves and others accountable.”

In the 2021 calendar year, Purdue Research Foundation received 169 patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, placing it sixth among all international institutions of higher education.

About Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization

The Purdue Research Foundation Office of Technology Commercialization operates one of the most comprehensive technology transfer programs among leading research universities in the U.S. Services provided by this office support the economic development initiatives of Purdue University and benefit the university’s academic activities through commercializing, licensing and protecting Purdue intellectual property. The office is housed in the Convergence Center for Innovation and Collaboration in Discovery Park District at Purdue, adjacent to the Purdue campus. In fiscal year 2021, the office reported 159 deals finalized with 236 technologies signed, 394 disclosures received and 187 issued U.S. patents. In calendar year 2021, the office ranked sixth among all international institutions of higher education for patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. The office is managed by the Purdue Research Foundation, which received the 2019 Innovation and Economic Prosperity Universities Award for Place from the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. In 2020, IPWatchdog Institute ranked Purdue third nationally in startup creation and in the top 20 for patents. The Purdue Research Foundation is a private, nonprofit foundation created to advance the mission of Purdue University. Contact otcip@prf.org for more information.

Source: Ken Waite, kjwaite@prf.org