By Jon Robinson
California-based Electronics for Imaging obtained what it calls a “sweeping victory” in a long patent dispute with Leggett & Platt Inc., over UV-curing technologies within EFI’s VUTEk division, which builds large-format, inkjet machines.
A federal judge in St. Louis, Missouri held on July 14 that all of the claims in Leggett & Platt’s (L&P) U.S. Patent No. 7,290,874 were invalid in relation to EFI’s own patent and printer design technology. Since the legal dispute began in May 2005, EFI has maintained that it was the first to invent and patent the technologies in question. The court agreed, concluding that EFI’s UV curing methods were invented and patented (U.S. Patent Nos. 6,457,823 and 6,616,355) before any of L&P’s patents. As a result, the court invalidated L&P’s patent.
The court’s decision is the third in a series of victories surrounding EFI’s UV curing technology. The court previously invalidated L&P’s U.S. Patent No. 6,755,518, and the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed that decision.