MILPITAS, CA--On November 7, 2008, JDS Uniphase (JDSU) submitted a complaint to the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC; www.usitc.gov) requesting that the ITC investigate what it is calling the unlawful importation and sale after importation into the U.S. of tunable laser chips and assemblies that infringe its patents 6,658,035, “Tunable Laser Source with Integrated Optical Amplifier (called the ‘035 Patent’) and 6,687,278, “Method of Generating an Optical Signal with a Tunable Laser Source with Integrated Optical Amplifier (the ‘278 Patent’). The patents in question were obtained when JDSU acquired Agility Communications and its assets back in November 2005. According to the ITC filing, “JDSU also seeks a permanent cease and desist order halting the sale, offer for sale, distribution, marketing, advertising, demonstrating, warehousing, or otherwise transferring, licensing, or using in the United States after importation, the accused products... that infringe JDSU’s valid and enforceable United States patents.”
Complainant JDS Uniphase names tunable laser competitors Bookham (San Jose, CA), Syntune (Kista, Sweden), and Cyoptics (Breinigsville, PA) as proposed respondents. Also included as respondents are the following customers of JDSU that incorporate both JDSU and competitive tunables in their modules: Tellabs (Naperville, IL); Adva Optical Networking (Martinsreid/Munich; Germany), Ciena (Linthicum, MD); and Nortel Networks (Toronto, ON, Canada).
Prior to commercial use of tunable lasers, discrete lasers at a specific wavelength were used for each wavelength channel in a dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) network. Because it is expensive to inventory 100 wavelength-specific lasers for a DWDM system, tunable lasers--that can achieve any needed wavelength value--have become extremely important in reducing network costs. Optoelectronics Report will update readers as more information becomes available.