A patent directed to semiconductor technology was unenforceable for the patentee’s inequitable conduct in providing a misleadingly incomplete, partial translation of a material reference and a narrow and incomplete concise statement regarding the reference, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed March 2 (Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co. v. Samsung Electronics Co., Fed. Cir., Nos. 98-1377, 99-1103, 3/2/00).

Semiconductor Energy Laboratory Co. sued Samsung Electronics Co. in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, alleging that Samsung’s production and sales of active matrix displays infringed SEL’s U.S. Patent No. 5,543,636, directed to semiconductor technology. After a bench trial, the district court held the ’636 patent unenforceable for inequitable conduct before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. SEL appealed this decision.

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