Laser Direct Structuring (LDS), a process patented by LPKF, is increasingly used in the manufacturing of complex antennas for mobile phones or tablet PCs. As the popularity of this technology increases, so has the number of infringements on this patent, which grants the laser technology specialist LPKF exclusive rights to the LDS process.

As announced, after the preliminary patent loss in China, LPKF is now taking legal action against a mobile phone manufacturer who is using electronic devices, that in the opinion of LPKF are infringing the LDS patent. "Our patent has been and continues to be valid in all other important markets worldwide, and covers the entire LDS process. Hence, we will not only take legal action against electronic producers, but also those who use the parts in their products," says Dr Ingo Bretthauer, CEO of LPKF Laser & Electronics AG.

In an ongoing lawsuit, LPKF is taking legal action in Germany against a large international manufacturer that is using LDS components in some of its mobile phones. LPKF has proven that these components were not manufactured on LPKF systems and are therefore unlicensed. The case is pending at the Mannheim District Court, 2nd Civil Division, and oral arguments will be heard in January 2014.

According to the VDMA (the German Engineering Federation), product piracy costs German engineering and equipment manufacturers a total of 7.9 billion Euro annually (2011). This loss in profits corresponds to almost 37,000 jobs.