IMRA and Jenoptik agree on license for laser micromachining

The agreement specifically allows Jenoptik ultrafast laser customers to use a patent family to create laser micromachined products.

Ann Arbor, MI /Jena, Germany - IMRA America Inc. (IMRA) and Jenoptik Laser GmbH have entered into a license agreement for the use of IMRA patent rights for the patent family including U.S. patents RE37,585 and 5,656,186 (see similar story), “Method for controlling configuration of laser induced breakdown and ablation.” The agreement is specifically designed to enable Jenoptik ultrafast laser customers to utilize the patent family to create advanced micromachined products.

This patent family was invented by Gerard Mourou and his team while at the University of Michigan and is licensed to IMRA from the university. The invention is fundamental in taking advantage of ultrafast lasers for micromachining. The inventors recognized that ultrashort pulses are shorter than the time needed for most energy transfer processes within the material. Therefore deterministic, ultra-precise material processing could be realized. This method is sometimes referred to as 'cold' or ‘athermal’ machining.

“We are particularly gratified that Jenoptik has joined many other large laser companies that recognize the importance of intellectual property and particularly the strength of the Mourou patent,” said Takashi Omitsu, president of IMRA. “This patent has enabled ultrafast lasers to be used in an entirely new class of micromachining that has created new state-of-the-art products such as medical stents, electronic displays and fuel injection nozzles. This intellectual property is valuable to the laser community and such is best shared, with appropriate business agreements between companies. We are delighted to follow this criterion to the benefit of the original inventors, their institution and the rightful users of the invention.”

“Jenoptik really appreciates the possibility to move aggressively into the area of ultrafast laser processing secured for our customers by this agreement. This matches well with the strategic road map of Jenoptik. The strategic partnership we have had with IMRA for a number of years adds value to our Lasers & Material Processing division,” said Thomas Fehn, executive VP of Jenoptik’s Lasers & Material Processing division.

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