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Infringement Analysis

Introduction

Patent infringement searches conducted to make sure that nobody without your consent makes, uses, or sells your patented invention. Infringement analysis is conducted in order to determine whether a product or a process infringes upon an existing patent claim. In order to conduct an infringement analysis, firstly the scope of the claim should be determined and then it should be checked whether all elements of the claim are present in the product or process.
To determine whether a particular product is covered by a patent, one must review the numbered claims of the patent such that if the product includes every element set forth in at least one of the claims (any independent claim, for instance), it is covered and said to literally “infringe” the patent. If the product however omits even one element included in the claim, it does not infringe from a literal infringement standpoint, and then the perspective changes to evaluation from a Doctrine of Equivalence (DOE) standpoint.

Our Approach

We at IIPRD prepare the infringement analysis report by preparing Patent Infringement Claim Charts, Infringement Materials, Validity Reassessment and Damage analysis documents/literature. Determining Infringement is a Two-Step Process, with the first step involving Claim Construction for determining the meaning of each claim term/element and the scope of the claims, and the second step involving making comparison of the properly Construed Claims to the Accused Device.

Our services include:

  • Drafting Infringement Analysis Reports based on detailed Infringement Searches.
  • Proposing and Partnering in development of the right IP strategy based on outcome of the Infringement Searches.

Depth of Analysis

Document Based Search

Our expert researchers carefully review product brochure/ technical specification sheet/ datasheet/ review papers etc. that are related to product in question to confirm inclusion of patented technology in the product.

Product Tear Down

Product teardown reporting is a mechanical decomposition of technology based devices. In industry, product teardown is generally used to understand how product works and guide enterprise toward more streamlined solutions in future.

For assembled products, our team is well equipped with resources and facilities to tear down the assembled product and listing component code/marking and manufacturer of each component along with high resolution photograph of dismantling procedure to show the location of component and associated electrical connections. We provide intelligence into phones, tablet, laptop, wearable, smart home devices, electrical appliances etc. This helps in-

  • Identifying the underlying component and thus opens the door for in depth review of product features in view of patented technology

  •  Identifying the manufacturer of each component and thus expanding the list of potential infringers

  • Identifying details of contributory components involved in infringement and thus helps in damage calculation

  • Estimating the bill of materials

A typical Product Teardown involves following steps-

  • Dismantling a product

  • Carefully listing IC and other system components

  • Capturing high-resolution images of components and electrical connections

Input /Output Testing

Our capabilities for testing input/output of products to monitor their performance and uncover underlying features provide cutting edge in concluding infringement of Wireless technology, Semiconductor Systems and Telecommunications. System level analysis analyze and list down operation, function, timing and other performance related features to compare and draw similarities between accused product and patented technology.  I/O testing is generally used to confirm an expected output as the final result using lab equipment. I/O testing results are primarily used to support expert’s inferences in an EoU that relates to a backend processes.

Reverse Engineering

Sometimes simple teardowns of products aren’t good enough to explain the workings of a product. Recent development in massive integration of billions of devices and features in nanoscaled layered components have forced RE to evolve into a specialized niche to support patent licensing activities.

For new entrants in the market/technology space, RE plays a crucial role by letting them know what the competitor is doing. Upon reviewing parts list involved in manufacturing a product, one can figure out challenging/problematic areas and align research in a direction to come up with the best possible solution for the challenge/problem.

Our offshore capability to confirm unauthorized use of complex processes/methods disclosed in semiconductor patents using cross sectional analysis/ structural analysis/reverse engineering of product in question is the last step to generate foolproof evidence of use. Reverse Engineering greatly helps in understanding the intricacies of a semiconductor by analyzing underlying -

  • Process- Analyzing the process simply means de-layering an IC component to understand how chip was made and what are they made of.
    Process analysis usually relies on data relating to cross-section/structure which is collected using SEM (Scanning electron microscopy), TEM (Transmission electron microscopy) and SCM (Scanning Capacitance Microscopy). To understand chemical composition of underlying layers Energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy or secondary ion mass spectrometry is used. These data are then used to reconstruct and understand layer-by-layer structure of component.

  • Circuit – Circuit extraction is the most complex part of RE studies. It involves package removal followed by de-layering and imaging the component to understand how chip works.
    In semiconductor industry, Circuit Extraction is primarily used for circuit simulation, static timing analysis, signal integrity, power analysis and optimization, and logic to layout comparison. With devices following Moore’s Law and introduction of 7nm fabrication technologies, circuit extraction is growing more complex yet interesting and important to understand the functioning of multiple modules within a single semiconductor device.

Major steps involved in Circuit Extraction-

  • Package Removal- A variety of acids at various temperatures are used depending on the composition and size of the particular package. These solutions dissolve away the packaging material, but do not damage the die.

  • Device De-layering– It simply means to create a single sample of the component at each layer and at the polysilicon transistor gate level. It accurately strips off each layer, one at a time, while keeping the entire surface planar.

  • Imaging & Stitching /Aligning - SEM (Scanning electron microscopy), TEM (Transmission electron microscopy) are primarily used to take images of IC layers. These images are further stitched/aligned to generate a final image for analysis.

  • Annotation – Once the data is collated, the actual work of reading back the circuit begins at annotation stage. Circuit is redrawn/extracted by taking note of all transistors, capacitors, diodes, and other components, interconnect layers, contacts and vias. Currently, many vendors provide specialized software tools for annotation.

  • Analysis – Extraction of circuit from annotated images requires high observation and analytical skill set. Experienced analysts carefully analyze sub-circuits to extract circuit if visible from the images. For complex system (digital blocks) analysts use automated extraction software tools.