Memory chip vendor Macronix International has fired back against rival Spansion by filing a patent infringement lawsuit against Spansion Inc., Spansion LLC and Spansion (Thailand) Ltd. and several of their customers. The suit was filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and alleges infringement of three Macronix patent covering separate aspects of non-volatile memory devices, including flash memory.
Macronix International Co. Lrd. (Hsinchu, Taiwan) is requested that the ITC issues an exclusion order that would ban from the United States infringing memory chips and the products that contain them. Eight customers of Spansion are also cited in the filing. They are: Beats Electronics LLC; Delphi Automotive PLC; Delphi Automotive Systems LLC; Harman International Industries, Inc.; Harman Becker Automotive Systems, Inc.; Harman Becker Automotive Systems GmbH; Ruckus Wireless, Inc.; and Tellabs, Inc.
In November of 2013 Macronix filed a seven-patent suit against Spansion in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia and sought to have certain of Spansion's patents ruled as invalid due to prior art.
This in turn had come after Spansion had filed complaints in August 2013 against Macronix alleging patent infringement in NOR flash and XtraROM memory products with the ITC and the District Court in Northern California. Spansion filings referred to six patents that relate to the manufacturing and structure of flash memory ICs and the security of memory cells.
Macronix has been granted more than 5,000 patents world-wide and more than 2,000 in the United States and is ranked 18th worldwide, and number one in Taiwan for patent strength in the semiconductor industry.
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