August Tech. Corp. v. Camtek, Ltd., No. 10-1458 (Fed. Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs asserted infringement of claims 1 and 3 of the patent, directed to a system and a method for inspecting integrated circuits printed on substrates such as wafers. The jury found that defendant's device infringed both claims, but that the infringement was not willful, and awarded about $6.8 million in lost profits. Because the jury found that plaintiff's NSX-80 wafer inspection machine was not prior art, the court held that there was no need for a separate trial on defendant's inequitable conduct claim, based on plaintiff's nondisclosure of the NSC-80 to the patent office. The Federal Circuit affirmed dismissal of the inequitable conduct claim, but reversed and remanded the determination of infringement and award of damages and injunction. The court improperly construed the claim in defining a wafer as any portion of a wafer having two or more dies. A wafer, as recited in the claims at issue, refers to a thin, discrete slice of semiconductor material with circuitry thereon that is ready for electrical testing having one or more dies. A plurality of wafers means more than one physically distinct wafer.