Shareholders of Zecotek Photonics (TSXV:ZMS) are no doubt hoping the company’s upcoming Markman Hearing, which it today announced will take place early in July, will do for the company what it has done for many others of late: send its share price north.
A “Markman Hearing”, aims to determine the use of relevant key words in a patent claim. The procedure has become commonplace in the U.S. Supreme Court since the 1996 case of Markman v. Westview Instruments, Inc., found that the language of a patent is a matter of law for a judge, not a jury, to decide.
Zecotek’s Markman action against defendants Saint-Gobain Corp. and Philips will be held on July 2, 2013, before U.S. district Judge Sara Lioi.
Zecotek contends that those companies infringed on its LFS scintillation crystal patent.
Zecotek was granted U.S. patent No. 7,132,060 late in 2006. The patent covers the substances and chemical formulations used to grow lutetium fine silicate scintillation or LFS crystals. LFS scintillation crystals are characterized by their combined high-light yield and ultrafast decay times and are used in medical scanning devices, high-energy science experiments, and other industrial and security applications. The lawsuit alleges that Saint-Gobain’s LYSO crystals infringe Zecotek’s patent, and that Philips infringes by using those crystals in the positron emission tomography (PET) medical scanning devices it currently sells.
CEO Dr. A.F. Zerrouk says the damages could be “significant”.
“We welcome the Markman hearing as our legal action against Saint-Gobain and Philips for infringing on our LFS scintillation crystal patent moves forward,” he said Dr. “We will continue to vigorously enforce our intellectual property rights to recover the significant damages afflicted on Zecotek and our shareholders.”
The trend of companies monetizing their intellectual property has exploded in the past few years, and Markman hearings have been seen by certain investors as key catalysts. In the U.S., companies such as Vringo (NASDAQ:VRNG) and Parkervision (NASDAQ:PRKR) saw their share prices lift off after announcing Markman hearing dates against Google and Qualcomm, respectively.
At press time, shares of Zecotek were up 2.8% to $.37.
Disclosure: Zecotek is an annual sponsor of Cantech Letter.