EDA firm Tela Innovations Inc. has added foundry Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd. (TSMC) to a list of alleged infringers of its patents covering techniques for the efficient layout of ICs.
Tela filed a complaint with the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) on Dec. 23, 2013, accusing TSMC of infringing on a patent for improving performance and power consumption in processors, according to Taiwan reports. Those reports reference TSMC denying the allegation and saying it would take "appropriate legal action" to defend itself.
Tela (Los Gatos, Calif.), a 2005 startup, has developed software for computational lithography, much of which is aimed at 28, 20 and 16nm CMOS and FinFET technologies. Tela reportedly claims that TSMC was covered by a license agreement, which then lapsed in May 2013. Tela is seeking an injunction to prevent the importation of infringing ICs into the United States.
Financial backers for Tela include: Intel Capital, Cadence Design Systems Inc., KT Venture Group LLC (the investment partner of KLA-Tencor Corp.) and Qualcomm Inc.
TSMC and Tela were previously collaborators and worked together to help Tela establish its software and offer it to customers. However, in 2012 Tela appointed legal counsel and in February 2013 filed complaints against several cell phone and consumer electronics vendors including HTC, LG, Motorola and Nokia with the USITC and the U.S. District Court for Delaware alleging patent infringement.
Tela and TSMC were approached for comment but neither company had not responsed by the time this article was posted.
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