Applied Materials, Inc. (AMAT) v. Muto Technology

06-01-2017 – Applied Materials sued Muto for patent infringement of its physical vapor deposition technologies.

 

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT

FOR THE WESTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS

AUSTIN DIVISION

 

APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.,

 

 

              Plaintiff,

 

v.

 

MUTO TECHNOLOGY, INC.

 

              Defendant.


 

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CIVIL ACTION NO. 1:17-cv-00519

 

 

 

JURY TRIAL DEMANDED


 

PLAINTIFF’S ORIGINAL COMPLAINT

Plaintiff Applied Materials, Inc. (“Applied” or “Plaintiff”) files this Original Complaint against Defendant, Muto Technology, Inc. (“Muto” or “Defendant”).

PARTIES

  1. Plaintiff Applied is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Delaware with its principal place of business located at 3050 Bowers Avenue, Santa Clara, CA 95052.
  2. Applied provides manufacturing equipment, services and software to the global semiconductor, display and related industries. Applied has substantial worldwide operations and manufacturing facilities located in Austin, Texas.
  3. Defendant Muto is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the State of Texas, having an established place of business at 2121 Grand Avenue Parkway, Austin,

TX 78728. Muto may be served with process by serving its registered agent, Rosario L. Muto, at 2121 Grand Avenue Parkway, Austin, TX 78782.

  1. Muto is an independent manufacturer of engineered consumables and disposables for semiconductor equipment.

    JURISDICTION AND VENUE

  2. This is an action for patent infringement arising under the patent laws of the United States, 35 U.S.C. §§ 1 et seq. This Court has subject matter jurisdiction pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 and 1338(a) because this action arises under the patent laws of the United States, including 35 U.S.C. §§ 271 et seq.
  3. This Court has personal jurisdiction over Muto because Muto has sufficient contacts with the State of Texas and this judicial district to permit the exercise of personal jurisdiction. Personal jurisdiction over Muto comports with the United States Constitution because Muto has its principal place of business in this judicial district, does business in this judicial district, has committed and continues to commit acts of patent infringement in this judicial district as alleged in this Complaint.
  4. Venue is proper in this judicial district pursuant to the provisions of 28 U.S.C.

§§ 1391 and 1400(b).

  1. Muto has a regular and established place of business in this district.
  2. Muto has transacted business in this judicial district and continues to transact business in this judicial district, has committed acts of infringement in this judicial district, and continues to commit acts of infringement in this judicial district.

BACKGROUND

  1. Applied is the global leader in precision materials engineering solutions for the semiconductor, flat panel display, and solar photovoltaic industries. Each year, it invests more than one billion dollars to develop technologies that enable improvements to and innovations in smartphones, flat panel displays, electronic chips, and solar cells.
  2. Applied is also an industry leader in the design and manufacture of systems used for physical vapor deposition (“PVD”).

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  1. PVD is a process technology in which atoms of conducting material (aluminum, titanium nitride, etc.) are sputtered from a target of pure material, then deposited on the substrate to create the conducting circuitry within an integrated circuit.
  2. PVD is generally performed in a sealed chamber filled with a plasma formed from a gas. The material to be deposited on the semiconductor substrate is dislodged by the gas and then the dislodged material sticks to the substrate.
  3. Applied manufactures devices, such as the Endura System, used to perform PVD.
  4. As systems such as the Endura are used, some parts must be replaced periodically.
  5. One of these parts is the shutter disk. The shutter disk is used to protect other surfaces within the PVD chamber from the unwanted deposition of materials.
  6. Applied sells replacement shutter disks under Applied Part Nos. 0021-25014 and

0020-45231.

  1. Another part sold for the Endura system is a cover ring.
  2. The cover ring also protects surfaces in the PVD chamber from the unwanted deposit of materials. Additionally, the cover ring prevents the deposit of materials in places that may create an electrical connection, or arc.
  3. Applied sells replacement cover rings under Applied Part No. 0020-63124.
  4. Muto manufactures and sells parts for PVD chambers including the Applied

Endura system.

  1. Muto sells many spare and replacement parts for Applied systems.
  2. For example, Muto sells a version of Applied’s 300 mm Shutter Disks and its 300 mm Cover Ring.

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  1. Muto is neither affiliated with Applied nor is it authorized by Applied to make these parts.
  2. On its website, Muto cross references Applied’s Part number to Muto’s Part number.
  3. For example, Muto’s website shows the below for the 300 mm Shutter Disk.

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  1. As further example, Muto’s website shows the below for another 300 mm Shutter

Disk.


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  1. As further example, Muto’s website shows the below for the 300 mm Cover Ring.

 

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  1. Muto’s shutter disk (MA-25498) is identical to Applied’s shutter disk (0021-

25014), other than the labels.

  1. Muto’s shutter disk (MA-25699-P) is identical to Applied’s shutter disk (0020-

45231), other than the labels.

  1. Muto’s cover ring (MA-16460) is identical to Applied’s cover ring (0020-63124), other than the labels.

    COUNT I – INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT NO. 7,008,517

  2. On March 7, 2006, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) duly and legally issued U.S. Patent No. 7,008,517 (“the ‘517 Patent”) titled “Shutter Disk and Blade for Physical Vapor Deposition Chamber.” A true and correct copy of the ‘517 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit A.
  3. Applied is the assignee of the ‘517 Patent, and holds all rights, title and interest in the ‘517 Patent.
  4. The ‘517 Patent is valid and enforceable.

     

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  5. The ‘517 Patent relates to a method and apparatus for use in a physical deposition chamber including a shutter disk and shutter disk mechanism.
  6. Muto makes, uses, offers to sell, sells, and/or imports or exports products, including, but not limited to, 300 mm Shutter Disks with Muto Part Nos. MA-25498 and MA25699-P, that infringes at least claims 1, 2, 4, 5, and 6 of the ‘517 Patent directly and/or under the doctrine of equivalents.
  7. Muto has had knowledge and notice of the ‘517 Patent and its infringement since at least, and through, the filing and service of the Complaint and despite this knowledge continues to commit the aforementioned infringing acts.
  8. Muto’s knowledge of the ‘517 Patent in advance of the filing and service of the

Complaint will be a subject of discovery.

  1. Muto’s past and continued acts of infringement of the ‘517 Patent have caused damages to Applied. Thus, Applied is entitled to recover damages from Muto in an amount to be determined at trial, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty for Muto’s infringement together with interest and costs as fixed by the Court pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284.
  2. Muto’s infringement of the ‘517 Patent will continue to damage Applied, causing irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law, unless Muto is enjoined by this Court from further acts of infringement.

    COUNT II – INFRINGEMENT OF U.S. PATENT NO. 7,163,607

  3. On January 16, 2007, the USPTO duly and legally issued U.S. Patent No. 7,163,607 (“the ‘607 Patent”) titled “Process Kit for Improved Power Coupling Through a

Workpiece in a Semiconductor Wafer Processing System.” A true and correct copy of the ‘607 Patent is attached hereto as Exhibit B.

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  1. Applied is the assignee of the ‘607 Patent, and holds all rights, title and interest in the ‘607 Patent.
  2. The ‘607 Patent is valid and enforceable.
  3. The ‘607 Patent relates to an apparatus for supporting a substrate such as a semiconductor wafer in a process chamber. The support system includes a cover ring.
  4. Muto makes, uses, offers to sell, sells, and/or imports or exports products, including, but not limited to, the 300 mm Cover Ring with Muto Part No. MA-16460, that infringes at least claims 1, 4, and 5 of the ‘607 Patent directly and/or under the doctrine of equivalents.
  5. Muto has had knowledge and notice of the ‘607 Patent and its infringement since at least, and through, the filing and service of the Complaint and despite this knowledge continues to commit the aforementioned infringing acts.
  6. Muto’s knowledge of the ‘607 Patent in advance of the filing and service of the

Complaint will be a subject of discovery.

  1. Muto’s past and continued acts of infringement of the ‘607 Patent have caused damages to Applied. Thus, Applied is entitled to recover damages from Muto in an amount to be determined at trial, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty for Muto’s infringement together with interest and costs as fixed by the Court pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 284.
  2. Muto’s infringement of the ‘607 Patent will continue to damage Applied, causing irreparable harm for which there is no adequate remedy at law, unless Muto is enjoined by this Court from further acts of infringement.

    JURY DEMAND

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Applied hereby demands a trial by jury of any and all issues triable of right by a jury pursuant to Rule 38 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.

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PRAYER

Applied respectfully prays for relief against Muto as follows:

  1. a judgment that Muto has in the past infringed, and continues to infringe one or more claims of the ‘517 Patent and/or the ‘607 Patent either literally or under the doctrine of equivalents;
  2. an order and judgment permanently enjoining Muto and its agents, servants, officers, directors, employees, and all persons acting in concert with them, directly from infringing the claims of the ‘517 Patent and/or the ‘607 Patent;
  3. a judgment awarding damages against Muto in an amount to be proven at trial, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty;
  4. a judgment awarding costs and expenses incurred in prosecuting this action;
  5. a judgment awarding attorneys’ fees pursuant to 35 U.S.C. § 285 or as otherwise permitted by law;
  6. for pre and post-judgment interest at the maximum allowable rate under the law; and
  7. for such other and further relief as this Court may deem just and appropriate either at law or in equity.

    Date: May 31, 2017               Respectfully submitted,

 

    By: /s/ Alan D Albright          

                                  Alan D Albright

                                  Texas Bar No. 00973650

                                  Chad Ennis

                                  Texas Bar No. 24045834

 

111 Congress Avenue, Suite 2300

                                  Austin, Texas 78701-4061

                                  Telephone: (512) 472-7800                                   Fax: (800) 404-3970

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                                  alan.albright@bracewell.com

                                  chad.ennis@bracewell.com

 

ATTORNEYS FOR PLAINTIFF APPLIED MATERIALS, INC.

 

 

 

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