PhotoScribe Claims Second Victory in LKI Suit

PhotoScribe Technologies, Inc., a diamond laser inscription equipment manufacturer, said Monday that it has prevailed for a second time in a patent infringement lawsuit brought against it and the Gemological Institute of America by diamond distributor Lazare Kaplan International.

On Friday, May 2, 2008, following a four-day bench trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, the Honorable Thomas Griesa issued a ruling that Lazare Kaplan was guilty of “inequitable conduct” before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in obtaining the two patents-in-suit, according to PhotoScribe.

Specifically, the Court found that Lazare Kaplan withheld material prior art with deceptive intent during prosecution of both patents-in-suit, according to PhotoScribe.

Both patents-in-suit, U.S. Patent Nos. 6,476,351 and 7,010,938, are assigned to Lazare Kaplan and relate to diamond laser inscription equipment and inscribed diamonds, respectively. 

This latest development supplements a victory two months ago for PhotoScribe as to non-infringement and invalidity of the two patents-in-suit. On March 7, 2008, after a two-week trial in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, a jury rendered a unanimous verdict finding that PhotoScribe and GIA do not infringe any of the 10 patent claims asserted by Lazare Kaplan. Additionally, the jury invalidated one of the claims of the ‘351 Lazare Kaplan patent.   

The court’s decision as to whether Lazare Kaplan will pay PhotoScribe’s attorneys’ fees is still pending.

“We are extremely pleased with the Court’s latest ruling because PhotoScribe has now been completely vindicated,” said David Benderly, PhotoScribe’s president and chief executive officer. “PhotoScribe’s position has always been that Lazare Kaplan’s lawsuit is totally without merit. Our victory is an absolute one. Not only does PhotoScribe not infringe, but Lazare Kaplan can no longer assert its unenforceable patents.”
PhotoScribe Technologies, headquartered in New York City, was established in 1998. In addition to manufacturing diamond laser inscription equipment for the jewelry industry, its precision marking technology is used in the fields of aerospace, biotech, medical, optical, ophthalmology, fiber optics, electronics, semi conductors, and MEMS (micro electrical mechanical systems).