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From: Paul Lee7/5/2017 9:47:25 PM
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Broadcom Infringed Tessera Semiconductor IP: ITC JudgeBy Nicole Narea


Law360, New York (July 5, 2017, 3:41 PM EDT) -- A U.S. International Trade Commission administrative law judge on Wednesday found that a wide range of Broadcom Corp. products imported to the U.S. infringe a Tessera Technologies Inc. semiconductor patent, recommending standard remedies preventing the company from continuing to do so, a representative for Tessera said in a statement.

On Friday, Administrative Law Judge Dee Lord issued her notice of initial determination — a brief summary of her full decision — ruling that Broadcom violated Section 337 of the Tariff Act prohibiting unfair competition involving imports and the importation of infringing goods with respect to U.S. Patent Number 6,849,946 claiming a semiconductor layout configuration. She also found that Broadcom had not committed a violation of Tessera’s intellectual property rights with respect to another semiconductor patent because Tessera failed to prove that it had established a domestic industry around that patent and that a number of claims of a third related patent were invalid.

The full initial determination, made available to counsel on Wednesday, is subject to confidentiality restrictions, but Tessera’s CEO John Kirchner confirmed the scope of the company’s win in a statement.

"We are very pleased with this result, which our counsel has confirmed is a complete victory on the ‘946 patent," Kirchner said on Wednesday. "The ALJ found that the ‘946 patent is infringed, valid and has a domestic industry in the United States. This is a key patent on a fundamental manufacturing process technology that is not only very broadly infringed across all of Broadcom's significant product lines, but, we believe, is used by many others in the semiconductor industry."

Tessera, which licenses its technologies to several hundred companies, including Intel Corp. and Micron Technology Inc., filed its initial complaint in May 2016, alleging that Broadcom had unlawfully imported and sold semiconductor products infringing three Tessera patents: U.S. Patent Numbers 6,856,007; 6,849,946; and 6,133,136.

According to court filings, the ’007 patent covers a compact and economical semiconductor chip assembly that includes a packaged semiconductor chip, a chip carrier with a metallic thermal conductor and a circuit panel with a thermal conductor mounting. The ’946 patent claims a semiconductor layout configuration and method that results in a more efficient planarization process for a semiconductor chip. And the ’136 patent describes a structure for metal interconnects used in semiconductor packaging.

Tessera called Broadcom's alleged unauthorized use of those patented technologies as "widespread and pervasive" across all of its product lines, according to the complaint.

"Broadcom has failed to engage in meaningful licensing talks with Tessera despite Tessera's earnest and repeated efforts to pursue a business relationship over the past several years," the complaint states.

Tessera requested a permanent limited exclusion order to prevent Broadcom's infringing products from entering the U.S., as well as a permanent cease-and-desist order prohibiting Broadcom from marketing or selling the accused products.

Additionally, it asked the commission to impose a bond during a presidential review period to impede Broadcom in continuing to harm its business. ITC orders go into effect after a period of 60 days, unless rejected by the ITC president for policy reasons.

The ITC announced its intention to investigate Tessera’s complaint in June 2016 in a statement, recognizing that infringement could span Broadcom’s semiconductor technologies, mobile devices, set-top boxes, gateways, modems, routers, Ethernet switches, network routing equipment, infrastructure equipment for telecommunications and cable, networking and cloud systems.

The ALJ on Friday found that Broadcom had infringed the ’946 patent, but not the ’136 patent, for which Tessera failed to demonstrate a domestic industry, or the ’007 patent, several claims of which were found to be invalid. She additionally recommended what Tessera described as “standard remedies” that would bar Broadcom and its customers from importing, selling and engaging in a variety of related domestic activity in connection with infringing imported products.

Michael C. Spillner, in-house counsel for Tessera, said in a statement on Monday that the notice of the ALJ’s initial determination was one of several recent legal victories against Broadcom.

He said that Tessera had successfully defended the same patent that Broadcom was found on Friday to infringe in an inter partes review challenge at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board in March. And he also cited a German court that ruled earlier this year to impose an injunction barring Broadcom from shipping products into Germany that infringed a different Tessera semiconductor patent.

“We remain interested in negotiating a fair and reasonable license with Broadcom, but absent a satisfactory resolution, we will continue to defend our IP rights and enforce these decisions to the fullest extent of the law," Kirchner said on Wednesday.

The ALJ's initial determination will be subject to review by the commission and remedies will not go into effect until the completion of the investigation, which is currently slated for Oct. 30, 2017, a representative for Covington & Burling LLP, the firm representing Tessera, said in a statement on Monday.

Counsel for Broadcom did not immediately respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

Broadcom is represented by David E. Sipiora of Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP.

Tessera is represented by Sturgis M. Sobin of Covington & Burling LLP.

The case is In the Matter of Certain Semiconductor Devices, Semiconductor Device Packages and Products Containing Same, investigation number 337-TA-1010 before the U.S. International Trade Commission.

--Editing by Stephen Berg.

Update: This story has been updated with information from Tessera about the ALJ’s full initial determination on Wednesday.

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From: Paul Lee10/3/2017 10:47:41 PM
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Samsung Accused Of Infringing Tessera Chip Patents At ITC
Share us on: By Nicole Narea

Law360, New York (October 3, 2017, 8:39 PM EDT) -- The U.S. International Trade Commission announced Tuesday that Tessera Advanced Technologies Inc. requested an investigation of Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.'s alleged infringement of two semiconductor patents, as well as the exclusion of infringing products and a prohibition on related commercial activity.

Bringing claims Thursday under the Tariff Act, Tessera, a subsidiary of tech giant Xperi Corp., asked the ITC to exclude infringing wafer-level packaged semiconductor devices and products containing them, such as the power management IC chips used in Samsung's flagship Galaxy and Note smartphones, as well as issue cease-and-desist orders barring commercial activity linked to those infringing products.

The commission consequently invited members of the public to file comments on the proceedings, in particular as they related to the public interest, products that could replace the infringing products if excluded and whether competitors had the ability to meet the volume of demand for such products.

"[Tessera] believe[s] that these exemplary Samsung products are representative of many other Samsung products imported, sold for importation, and/or sold in the United States after importation by Samsung that feature the same or substantially similar infringing functionality as the exemplary accused products," the complaint states.

The patents relate to semiconductor wafer-level packaging, or WLP, which is the process of packaging semiconductor chips before a wafer is divided into separate chips, reducing the package size. WLP will "enable the next generation of semiconductor devices" and "driv[e] the modern computing, telecommunications and information revolution," according to the complaint.

The patents specifically cover "improvement in chip reliability" by way of WLP, Tessera said.

Tessera named Samsung's phones in its Thursday complaint, but acknowledged that other cellular phones, tablets, notebooks and cameras might be found to infringe the patents during the discovery phase of the investigation. Tessera alleged that Samsung knew of its patents since at least May 2016, when Tessera presented its WLP technology to Samsung and explained how the company was infringing them.

"By continuing its actions, Samsung has had the specific intent to induct, or was willfully blind of inducing infringement of the patent," the complaint states.

Tessera claimed that it had established a domestic industry around the patents as evidenced by its hefty investment in dedicated manufacturing equipment, personnel, research, development, application engineering and licensing. Its licensee Micron Technology Inc. invested $1.62 billion in research and development in 2016, in part dedicated to the technology covered by the patents, Tessera alleged.

In May 2016, Tessera also accused Broadcom Corp. of infringing one of the patents at issue in Delaware federal court, prompting Broadcom to ask the Patent Trial and Appeals Board for inter partes review of the patent. Tessera further accused Samsung of infringing both patents in New Jersey federal court at the same time that it filed its ITC complaint.

Tessera additionally prevailed in defending a different semiconductor patent at the ITC against Broadcom when an administrative law judge found in July that a wide range of Broadcom products imported to the U.S. infringed, recommending standard remedies preventing the company from continuing to do so.

The patents in the investigation are U.S. Patent Numbers 6,954,001 and 6,784,557.

Counsel for Tessera and a representative for Samsung did not immediately respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

Tessera is represented by Matthew Moore, Maximilian Grant, Bert Reiser, Charles Sanders and Michael David of Latham & Watkins LLP.

Counsel information for Samsung was not available Tuesday.

The case is In the Matter of Certain Wafer-Level Packaging Semiconductor Devices and Products Containing the Same (Including Cellular Phones, Tablets, Laptops and Notebooks) and Components Thereof, case number 337-3262, in the U.S. International Trade Commission.

--Editing by Katherine Rautenberg

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