On Thursday, the Carnegie Institution ofWashington and M7D Corp.—the legal name of WD Lab Grown Diamonds—sued sixcreated-diamond companies for allegedly violating Carnegie’s patents forgrowing and enhancing diamonds with the chemical vapor deposition method.
The suits, filed yesterday in SouthernDistrict of New York federal court, target three pairs of related lab-growndiamond companies: Pure Grown Diamonds, based in New York City, and IIaTechnologies, based in Singapore; Fenix Diamonds, based in New York City, andMahendra Brothers, based in India; and ALTR Inc. and R.A. Riam Group, bothbased in New York City.
The three suits, which use similar languageand make similar claims, allege that the companies are infringing on twoCarnegie Institution patents, to which M7D holds the license.
The first, patent number 6,858,078, issued in February 2005, lays out a method for producing CVD diamonds using a microwave-plasma process. The second, patent, RE41189, reissued in April 2010, covers a method for improving a diamond’s visual qualities using high-pressure, high-temperature treatment, a process sometimes called annealing. Diamonds grown with chemical vapor deposition that haven’t been treated are known as “as-grown.”
According to the three complaints, the patentsat issue are “well-known in the lab-grown diamond industry and in particularare well-known by lab-grown diamond manufacturers, importers, and sellers.”
The plaintiffs seek an injunction against theproduction of any allegedly infringing products and that M7D and Carnegiereceive a “reasonable royalty” from any past sales of infringing products.
This is not the only intellectual property lawsuit involving lab-grown diamonds. In 2016, De Beers–owned Element Six sued IIa Technologies for patent infringement. That suit led Element Six to try to enforce a discovery request against Pure Grown Diamonds in the United States. IIa has denied any infringement.
Top: A WD lab-growndiamond (image courtesy of WD Lab Grown Diamonds)