USPTO Decision not expected to have material impact
December 9, 2015
FREMONT, Calif. – 9-December-2015— Spin Transfer Technologies, Inc. (STT), a leading developer of breakthrough Orthogonal Spin Transfer Magneto-Resistive Random Access Memory technology (OST-MRAM™), today notes a press release by Crocus Technology, Inc. (Crocus) regarding the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) decision on March 26, 2015 regarding an inter partes review (IPR) of US Patent No. 6,980,469 which relates to magnetic devices for memory cells that can serve as nonvolatile memory. This patent is licensed to STT from New York University (NYU).
As previously disclosed in the 2014 Annual Report and Accounts of Allied Minds plc (LSE: ALM), the parent company of STT, dated as of April 28, 2015, Allied Minds and STT believe that the decision by the PTO regarding this patent will not have a material impact on STT’s ability to develop and market its technology and products, or to otherwise pursue its proposed business.
On October 10, 2013, Crocus filed a petition at the PTO requesting that the PTO institute an IPR of US Patent No. 6,980,469 (‘469 patent). An IPR is a form of proceeding permitted under the Leahy Smith America Invents Act, which permits third parties to challenge the validity of issued patents. No damages are available in such IPR proceedings.
On March 26, 2015, the PTO entered a judgment on the IPR that cancelled several claims of the ‘469 patent as being invalid over prior art references. However, the PTO did not find that any Crocus patent by itself invalidated any claims of the ‘469 patent. Instead, the PTO found that the teachings of a foreign patent Crocus licensed from a third party, when combined with patents from three other companies, left certain ‘469 patent key claims intact while invalidating other claims.
IPR proceedings do not make any findings regarding patent infringement, and thus this judgment provides no legal basis for concluding that STT infringes any patents held by Crocus or other third parties. In addition, the NYU patent portfolio licensed by STT contains other patent claims that are unaffected by the IPR action. Further, as STT has developed its technology, it has filed its own additional patents. The claims remaining under the licensed NYU patents, as well as under STT’s owned patents, provide substantial coverage for STT. STTs OST-MRAM™ technology is protected by a strong portfolio of more than 50 patents and pending applications.
“The Patent Office’s decision does not imply that STT infringes any of Crocus’ patents,” said Barry Hoberman, Chairman and CEO of STT. “The decision will neither disrupt our development plans nor impact our business. We plan to continue to pioneer innovations in spin transfer MRAM while also strengthening our patent portfolio.”
About Spin Transfer Technologies
Spin Transfer Technologies, Inc. was established by Allied Minds and New York University to develop and commercialize its Orthogonal Spin Transfer Magneto-Resistive Random Access Memory technology, OST-MRAM™. The technology, invented by Professor Andrew Kent, is a disruptive innovation in the field of spin-transfer-based MRAM devices, enabling faster switching times, lower power operation, lower manufactured device cost, and scalability to smaller lithographic dimensions. For more information, visit www.spintransfer.com.
About Allied Minds
Allied Minds (LSE: ALM) is an innovative U.S. science and technology development and commercialization company. Operating since 2006, Allied Minds forms, funds, manages and builds products and businesses based on innovative technologies developed at leading U.S. universities and federal research institutions. Allied Minds serves as a diversified holding company that supports its businesses and product development with capital, central management and shared services. More information about the Boston-based company can be found at www.alliedminds.com.
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