Laser Peening Patent Infringement Lawsuit Update

On May 11, 2011 MIC filed a second Request for Reexamination with the USPTO, again asking that the USPTO reexamine all of the claims of the ‘876 patent in light of various printed publications and affidavits submitted by MIC in the second Request. As expected, on January 17, 2012, the USPTO issued a Notice of Intent to Issue a Reexamination Certificate, wherein the USPTO once again stated its intent to confirm all 38 of the claims of the ‘876 patent in their originally issued form. As a result, all of the originally issued claims of the ‘876 patent remain valid and enforceable – LSP Technologies.


Patent Infringement Lawsuit Update


On June 8, 2010, LSPT filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Metal Improvement Company, LLC (“MIC”) in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, Eastern Division, alleging infringement of U.S. Patent No. 6,373,876 (the “‘876 patent”).  On September 3, 2010, MIC filed a Request for Reexamination with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”), asking that the USPTO reexamine the claims of the ‘876 patent in light of various printed publications submitted by MIC in the Request.  The Court stayed the lawsuit pending the outcome of the reexamination proceeding.  On March 25, 2011, the USPTO issued a Notice of Intent to Issue a Reexamination Certificate, wherein the USPTO stated its intent to confirm all 38 of the claims of the ‘876 patent.  On July 5, 2011, the USPTO issued a Reexamination Certificate, Ex Parte Reexamination Certificate No. US 6,373,876 C1, declaring:  “As a result of the reexamination, it has been determined that:  The patentability of claims 1-38 is confirmed.”  As a result, all of the claims of the ‘876 patent remain valid and enforceable.

LSP Technologies files patent-infringement suit against MIC

On June 8, 2010, LSP Technologies, Inc. filed suit against Metal Improvement Company (MIC) for patent infringement.  The suit was filed in federal court in the southern district of Ohio.  The patent in suit is patent number 6,373,876 and is specifically related to laser peening system technology.

First International Conference on Laser Peening

The first international conference on laser peening will be held in Houston-Texas, USA 15-17 December 2008.  It is an honor to have Dr. Allan Clauer of LSP Technologies, Inc. kicking off the conference with the first of two keynote presentations at 9:15 am on 15 December.  Dr. Clauer has been involved with laser peening from its inception in the early 1970s, back when it was called laser shock processing.

The conference was established by Dr. Omar Hatamleh of NASA-Johnson Space Center.  Dr. Hatamleh is the Conference Chairman.

Topics will include:

  • Laser peening effects on residual stress distribution
  • Modeling of residual stresses from laser peening
  • Laser peening effects on fatigue life, and crack growth rates in base and welded components
  • Laser peening effects on microstructure, mechanical properties, and surface roughness
  • General aspects of laser peening – process parameters, potential applications, commercialization
  • Additional topics within the field of laser peening are welcome

Contributions will be made by attendees from around the world, including presentations by Dr. Todd Rockstroh (General Electric Aviation – USA) on “Laser Shock Processing of Aircraft Engine Components”, Dr. Brent Dane (Metal Improvement Company) on “Recent Developments in Large Scale Industrial Laser Peening”, Dr. Yuji Sano (Toshiba-Japan) on Development and Applications of Laser Peening Systems for Field Operations”, Mr. Brad Cowles (Pratt & Whitney-USA) on “Applications, Benefits, and Challenges of Advanced Surface Treatments”, and Dr. Takafumi Adachi (Fuji Heavy Industry-Japan) on “Effects of Laser Peening on Fatigue Properties for Aerospace Aluminum Alloys”.

Blasts of Light to Strengthen Metals

Lawrence Livermore National Lab (LLNL) and Metal Improvement Company (MIC) developed a version (brand) of laser peening that they call LasershotSM Peening.  In 1999 a web page appeared on the LLNL website tauting the new technology.

Here is a brief excerpt from the LLNL website:
“The new technology, called the LasershotSM Peening System, is designed to extend the service lifetime of critical metal parts, from aircraft engine fan blades Figure 1 to hip joints, by a factor of three to five times over conventional peening treatments. The process also holds the promise of lighter, stronger products of entirely new designs.
In traditional shot-peening procedures, each metal or ceramic ball acts as a minuscule ball-peen hammer, imparting on a metal surface a small indentation or dimple. This process produces, below the dimple, a hemisphere of highly shocked and compressed material. In time, overlapping dimples provide a very thin about 0.25 millimeter, uniform layer that is extremely resistant to cracks, corrosion, and fatigue. Because of these benefits, the springs and transmission components of almost every automobile are shot peened for longer life, as are aircraft structural components.
With the invention of the laser, researchers quickly recognized that peening could be achieved using high-energy lasers with pulse lengths in the tens of nanoseconds billionths of a second, short enough to generate a rapid yet energetic shock. Prototype laser peening machines were developed in the 1970s, but they and subsequent versions over the past two decades were not cost effective because the lasers lacked the high repetition rate required for treating parts rapidly.”

For the entire article click on this link: Blasts of Light to Strengthen Metals