Fox Group, Inc. v. Cree, Inc., No. 11-1576 (Fed. Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
Fox owns the 130 patent, which claims a low defect silicon carbide (SiC) crystal and relates to a method and apparatus of said crystal and claims priority from a 1997 application. SiC crystal is a semiconductor material grown via man-made methods and used in high-temperature and high-power electronics such as light sources, power diodes, and photodiodes. SiC material must contain a relatively low level of defects. Cree has engaged in research to grow low defect SiC crystals since 1987. In 1995, Cree grew boule G0259; Dr. Dudley, of the State University of New York, advised that a wafer sliced from that boule, (the Kyoto Wafer), had an exceptionally low defect area. At the 1995 International Conference on SiC and Related Materials and in a 1996 article, Cree inventors showed a cropped image and described the low defect nature of the Kyoto Wafer. Fox claimed that Cree infringed claims of its patent. The district court entered summary judgment that the 130 patent is invalid and rejected other claims and counterclaims. The Federal Circuit affirmed with respect to two claims of the 130 patent, but vacated in part. There was no controversy at the time of the judgment over other claims of the patent.