BPAI Reverses Written Description and Prior Art Rejections Resulting in Important Victory for GSI Group, Inc.

January 18, 2011 – Firm News

For Immediate Release

January 18, 2011

Alexandria, Va. – The United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) reversed rejections of patent claims inEx parte Donald V. Smart. The ruling, an important victory for GSI Group, Inc., a client of Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P., has implications for future legal decisions.

The ruling appears to be the first application by the BPAI of the Federal Circuit's controversial ruling in Agilent v. Affymetrix, using interpretations of claim terminology based on the specification of the challenged application rather than from the applicant's own specification (Ex parte Smart, B.P.A.I., No. 2009-015036). The Agilent holding meant a claim would be interpreted one way for purposes of judging whether it is patentable over the prior art and a different way for purposes of judging whether it is patentable under the written description requirement. In Ex parte Smart, the board reversed both written description and anticipation rejections.

“The Board’s decision is an important victory--both for our client and for the legal principles involved,” said Oblon, Spivak partner Charles Gholz, lead interference counsel for GSI. “The BPAI will now presumably declare an interference between GSI's application and the target applications.”

“This proceeding demonstrates GSI’s ongoing commitment to enhance our intellectual property position,” said Joe Griffiths, GSI Group’s Wafer Repair Systems Technical Marketing Manager. “We are pleased with the result.”

The patent at issue relates to the technology and use of a multiple pulse laser beam to alter and repair a portion of a circuit element on DRAM devices. Since 2005, GSI has continued to prosecute multiple pulse laser processing patents leading up to this favorable result.

About GSI Group Inc.

GSI Group Inc. supplies precision technology to the global medical, electronics, and industrial markets and semiconductor systems. GSI Group Inc.’s common shares are quoted on Pink OTC Markets Inc. (LASR.PK). More information about GSI is available on the company’s website at www.gsig.com.

Assisting clients for 40 years, Oblon, Spivak, McClelland, Maier & Neustadt, L.L.P. is one of the largest intellectual property specialty firms in the United States. The firm provides a full range of intellectual property services, including litigation matters in all courts, as well as trademark, copyright and patent interference services.