ITC ISSUES EXCLUSION ORDER AGAINST FIVE COMPANIES FOR INFRINGING TI PATENT
ITC ISSUES EXCLUSION ORDER AGAINST FIVE COMPANIES FOR INFRINGING TI PATENT DALLAS, Feb. 21 /PRNewswire/ -- The International Trade Commission has issued an exclusion order against five companies that infringe a basic semiconductor packaging technology invented and patented by Texas Instruments Incorporated (NYSE: TXN). The exclusion order, which now goes to the president for review and signing, would prevent the companies from importing and selling any integrated circuit or board-level product that uses TI's patented technology. The technology involves the packaging of integrated circuits by inserting fluid plastic into the mold cavity underneath a chip. This plastic
encapsulation process, commonly called "bottom- gating" or "opposite-side gating," is the packaging process most broadly used by the worldwide semiconductor industry, and has been used by the five companies with virtually all of their chips packaged in plastic.
The five U.S. companies infringing TI's technology are Analog Devices, Inc. of Norwood, Mass.; Cypress Semiconductor Corporation of San Jose, Calif.; Integrated Device Technology, Inc. of Santa Clara, Calif.; LSI Logic Corporation of Milpitas, Calif.; and VLSI Technology, Inc. of San Jose, Calif. "It is clear that the ITC felt the infringement of TI's technology was significant. The ITC has again confirmed that it will protect patented U.S. technology from infringement," said Richard J. Agnich, TI senior vice president. The exclusion order was issued following review by the International Trade Commission (ITC) of a preliminary decision made on Oct. 15, 1991. In that preliminary decision, an ITC administrative law judge ruled that TI's patent was valid and that the five companies infringed the patent. The Commission's review affirmed the judge's determination, saying that "all respondents had violated section 337 in the importation of opposite-side gated plastic encapsulated integrated circuits." BACKGROUND INFORMATION The ITC ruling is the result of an 18-month investigation pursuant to Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 in which TI claimed that the five manufacturers were packaging integrated circuits in other countries and importing and selling them in the United States using TI's patented technology, without a license from TI. TI had filed a complaint with the ITC on July 9, 1990. TI also filed a patent infringement lawsuit in Federal District Court in Dallas. The district court case is expected to go to trial in April. TI is seeking an injunction as well as damages for past infringement. Both the ITC complaint and the lawsuit involved U.S. Letters Patent No. 4,043,027, "Process for Encapsulating Electronic Components in Plastic," issued to TI in 1977. The technology covered by this patent revolutionized integrated circuit packaging by offering manufacturers a reliable alternative to expensive ceramic packaging. It helped make integrated circuits widely affordable by lowering the price of a single integrated circuit from dollars to cents. At the time TI filed the ITC complaint and the lawsuit, Agnich said: "TI took these actions to prevent the unauthorized use of its technology and protect the significant investments the company has made in development of intellectual property that is used in integrated circuits around the world." -0- 2/21/92 /NOTE TO EDITORS: Texas Instruments Incorporated, headquartered in Dallas, is a high-technology company with sales and manufacturing operations in more than 30 countries. TI develops, manufactures and markets semiconductors, defense electronics systems, software productivity tools, computer systems and peripheral products, custom engineering and manufacturing services, electrical controls, metallurgical materials, and consumer electronic products./ /CONTACT: Terri West of Texas Instruments, 214-995-3481/ (TXN) CO: Texas Instruments Incorporated ST: Texas IN: CPR SU: SH -- NY028 -- 1371 02/21/92 11:59 EST
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|Date:||Feb 21, 1992|
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