Mastered the key patented E Ink yuan is too firm e-paper market

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Begin planning patents evasive strategy has become a common topic of e-paper manufacturers. With the continued proliferation of mobile devices boom, the war of the e-paper market continues to heat up, face the E Ink yuan is too master key patents, and other e-paper manufacturers in sophisticated technological developments, should also think about how to avoid, so as not to inadvertently patent mines.

Advertised to electronic digitized in the global wave of a green alternative to traditional paper books, e-books (E-book) homeopathic brewing. The e-books are electronic reader is made of electronic paper (E-paper). Taiwan has a full on in downstream electronic paper, industrial chain advantage, just getting a head start in this.

The E Ink PVI has patented technology and on the number of advantages, other enterprises be careful to avoid the patent landmines to avoid inadvertently. Source: E Ink PVI

PVI, for example, it is not just in the 2009 acquisition of electronic ink (E Ink) in August of this year officially declare more M & A Tech (SiPix). Although the PVI acquisitions Tech unlike the original acquisition of E Ink so legal optimistic, but the the yuan too Dongzuo Liu Cheng believes the slowdown is the acquisition of a good opportunity to patents, technology, talent, and through two companies combined, not only able to provide customers with more choices, but also to break through both sides of the restrictions on the development. PVI this acquisition to convey his ideas, was simply trying to utilize patented integration of the two companies to obtain patents and technology leadership.

The past, most of the reports on the electronic paper focuses on industry analysis, however, once the technical development of the more skillful, likely to be faced with more than just a technical problem, even more frightening is accompanied patent war, it is necessary to know the layout of both patent and identify the key patents, as R & D reference more avoid inadvertently patents mines.

Particular patent is the focus of discussion, focuses on the electrophoretic e-paper technology, analysis of key patent application, integration between the display material, process and equipment relations, as well as a display of different efficacy analysis. The end, more particularly on the future in the face of PVI E Ink, this company has a large number of electronic paper patent, other companies will be how response in order to avoid falling into the patent muddy unable to escape.

E Ink patent with strong

The majority of the U.S. market has always been contested patent applications with the layout. Query from the 1970s to 2011 by the United States Patent Office announcement information electrophoretic electronic paper patent of nine hundred forty-four. Figure 1 shows the top ten patent holders of these patents held share. The highest share of the top ten companies, E Ink, together with Tech's patent number accounted for more than half, showing that most of the technology related patent lies in these hands. Each other through the patent case citation relations can be found, is cited as the highest number of MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, MIT) patent, they grip but the the E Ink citation rate ranked highest in the top ten patent eight, plus the original is the founder and principal inventor of the E Ink MIT professor, it can display the company's competitive strength.

The Figure 1 electronic paper before the relevant patent Ten patentee share

Further explore the highest share of E Ink patent application can be found on a calendar year approved the number in 2007? 2009 patent was a sharp decline (Figure 2). During which coincides with the 2009 acquisition of PVI E Ink, and check 2007? 2008 E Ink really poor financial condition, which may affect the R & D capacity and funding, in addition Jietai lanes are rising trend. In addition, E Ink has up to the high value of the invention, half of the top ten (who) worked (Table 1) in E Ink, indicates that the company's team developed and strong strength.

E Ink calendar year patent trend

If further analysis of E Ink categories of patents held by the majority of its patented distributed in the composition of the component, followed by the composition of the component corresponding process class, as according to composition component breakdown, can monitor the vast majority of this display is the end product is conducive to future patent rights advocates not no correlation. Moreover, the particles and ink patent application years earlier, such patents are mostly basic patent.

Today a company holds a large number of patents is extremely popular, but in reality more useful and ranking key position in the patent is not. Further resolve the scope of their rights is quite difficult to find a key patent in a large number of patents. If completed, you can assess whether it can successfully evade the patent, and make it useless.

E Ink mastered eight key patents
Can be obtained via the nation's total citation number of statistics, the highest citation number eight patents: 6120588 "controllable electrical properties of the microcapsules ink the (Electronically Addressable Microencapsulated Ink) display" 6067185 "capsule manufacturing encapsulated electrophoretic display ( Encapsulated Electrophoretic Display) process, "6017584" multi-color capsules electrophoretic display and manufacturing materials "6120839" electro-osmosis display (Electro-osmotic Displays) and manufacturing materials, "6300932" electrophoresis with light-emitting particles (Luminescent Particles) display and manufacturing material, "6262706" reflection-type electrophoretic display of manufacturing material ", 6,130,774" raster mode (Shutter Mode) Microcapsule electrophoretic display "and 6,172,798" raster mode microcapsules of electrophoretic display. " The technology used in these key patents having commonality, so according to the description in Example distinction may be divided into three groups, see Table 2.

Range of patents in patent scope subject the patent range can be written many claims, each claims can separate claim. Request the subject of the claims of the patent scope of application of these key patents, such as particles, capsules, display components, ink, monitors do classification, as shown in Figure 3, the visible key patent covering almost all of the scope of the invention.

Figure 3 electrophoretic display process diagram

A product must be completed through the many technology, these techniques may also make the products with the value of the reason why, in order to ensure the protection of the product and its derivative value, often have to be protected through patents. In addition to the product itself (physical part) may contain patents, manufacturing method (hereinafter referred to as the "process") and related manufacturing equipment, the same can also apply for patent protection.

A complete application for strategic point of view, if on material, process, equipment whole patent protection is generally considered more integrity, therefore, the following will each object in various process stages in sequence discussed.

First, the analysis of display material, process and equipment and can be found, most of them is the subject of a stand-alone item, in addition to the 6,130,774 and 6,172,798 patents related to the display elements to reveal corresponding process-independent entry, the rest Jiewei expose , while most of the patent process should be required through the machinery and equipment in order to achieve its practical application.

Furthermore, E Ink's founder and main inventor of the original as a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, particles, process and equipment-related patents in fact, to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have, but because of these patent applications time As early as in the 1970s, and therefore also have the patent expiration date. In addition, the ink-related patents 6,120,588 and 6,422,687, and monitor 6017584,6300932 and 6262706 patent characteristics lies particles reference to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology patent process and equipment technology.

As for the monitor process characteristics should lie in the two parts of the ink printing and display package "and has 6,422,687 and 6,067,185 Process protection, except pity is lacking the corresponding device claims protection.

The display is composed of many different components, the contingent each member demands efficacy is not the same, and therefore according to individual differences and characteristics of the structure and composition to carry out in-depth analysis through different objects to be combined into a new display products.

Electrophoretic display 6017584,6120839,6300932,6262706,6664944 and 613,044 exposing patents related with the structure of the capsules, particles suspended liquid electrode plate and the substrate, etc., with a reflective, light, color and increase the viewing angle efficacy (Table 3). Although there is some overlap of the functional demands, but the different techniques used in combination, not only does not detract from its function, also more to enhance the effectiveness of the above-mentioned patent can be any combination into a new display products.

The response E Ink patent strategy

Early patent for electronic paper technology R & D, but until recent years gradually products, look for the reasons may be related with the establishment of consumer habits. The past, everyone is used to read the writing, but in recent years the popularity of its lightweight 3C products, and consumer environmental awareness is gradually gaining ground in the ongoing efforts of environmental groups, and change the original reading habits, the convenience of electronic paper is slowly being widely acceptance, together with the progress of science and technology, more and more electronic paper applications, such as e-book reader, e-paper mobile phone, e-paper price tag (ePrice Tag), as well as e-paper advertising billboards and so on.

Indeed to the amount due to the patent belongs to intangible assets, to assess its value was not easy, is generally considered most litigation immediately detect patent has value, but the paradox is that electronic paper technology patent dispute does not appear, electronic paper industry is entering the active period, the output value is still large, and the main technology lies in the hands of a few companies such as E Ink, Tech, these funds bet most of the R & D and production, there is no extra money and time. the rise of patent litigation, but foreseeable electronic paper into the warm period is the beginning of patent litigation battle.

Into a patent battle to avoid after they can not escape, early in the R & D it is necessary to analyze the key patents for electronic paper industry to avoid inadvertently mines. Analysis have a mutual dependency between the key patent shows that E Ink, the patent covers the items, devices, methods, and processes. Thus, E Ink patent applications have been prior careful layout, definitely not indiscriminately apply this point it is worth as a reference of other enterprises in the patent application strategy planning.

E Ink's key patent covers not only a wide range of basic patent called electrophoretic electronic paper, the preferred way is evading its existing patent layout. Display-related patent claims in its avoid the possibility can be divided into four types:

claim to expose components less several possible without evading

6,017,584 and color capabilities, the only expose three particles constitute Color necessary.

6,664,944 and six are with to increase display visual surface, mainly used in parallel-type electrode plate, so the only choice who wish to evade stacked, but you must give up the original demands to increase the visual surface and does not let display thickening.

Retention of some characteristics can still be avoided

6,300,932 and 6,262,706 items are related to the reflection function, if only retain the reflective particles technical characteristics and the exclusion of other non-essential conditions can be evaded.

6300932 equally expose light-emitting function, retaining only the characteristics of the emitted light.

6,130,774 with the multi-optical effect function for the second item, and the part of its request that the unique structural features, according to the second term of the restriction may be made "non-embedded" complex display element is fixed in the practice of the substrate be distinguished .

Have the opportunity to evade or re-invention

6,120,839 and six are associated with the light-emitting function, which is characterized in its use of one or more of the refractive index of the liquid, to identify non-refractive index of the liquid, which may reach the reflection function ORDER capsule generated; or for liquids material part of in-depth research and development, may in future become the weapon of the cross-licensing.

Although evasive but deposit dispute

6130774 ninth and multi luminous efficiency function, part of its request is that the unique characteristics of the structure, but the structure name is vaguely defined, and in the specification embodiment, there is no clear description.

The face of both patent can not be avoided, consider buying enough patents provided against, but the main patentee dominant E Ink, other patent holders even if the patents held by the Union, is still difficult and their to compete.

Avoid difficult and can not be purchased enough patent, there is a feasible strategy from E Ink obtain patent licenses, however, with reference to many scholars have proposed a variety of different assessment methods, including patent influence patent popularity patent breadth, display E Ink critical patent in the integration of the assessment project are quite high, probably will face a patent license patent strength, E Ink open a high price license.

Finally, based on E Ink's basic patent re-invention is also a viable strategy for the re-invention of patent strength, though not of the basic patent, but the cumulative quantity re-invention patent, still have a chance with E Ink interact authorized significantly reduce unilaterally authorized royalties.


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