Popular beat combo, turned US legal executive arm, the Supremes have refused to change a patent-infringement victory for Tessera Technologies which had sued several tech companies at the US International Trade Commission.
The case is connected to two Tessera patents associated with packaging computer chips.
In 2009 the ITC decided that the Tessera patents were valid, and it told Qualcomm, Spansion, STMicroelectronics, Freescale Semiconductor and ATI to stop bringing them into the US.
According to the Wall Street Journal, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit confirmed the ITC decision last December. The defendant companies asked the Supreme Court to review the case but the court on Monday rejected their appeals without saying why.
It is all getting way too elderly now. Two patents in the case have since expired so it is not going to stop the importing of any product. However it will mean that the outfits named in the case will have to start thinking about writing cheques, or checks as they call them in USland.
Tessera is seeking financial damages in several district courts and these cases had been put on hold while the ITC case went ahead.
Motorola is probably the only outfit which ever paid Tessera and signed a licensing agreement in 2009 to settle the litigation. It probably saved itself a lot of time and certainly a heap of angst, but the lawyers won’t have been that happy.
The chip industry is worried about what will happen next after a US appeal court upheld a patent on the packaging of computer chips.
The court gave the thumbs up to Tessera Technologies and a affirmed a US International Trade Commission decision from early 2009.
That ruling said that Qualcomm, Spansion, STMicroelectronics, Freescale and ATI violated Tessera’s patents related to how certain chips were packaged.
At the heart of the ruling was technology that allows a semiconductor manufacturer to shrink the size of the package that contains and protects a chip from damage.
AMD, Qualcomm and Spansion said they don’t see the decision having an impact on their businesses. Qualcomm said that the patents are expired, as are the ITC’s limited exclusion and cease and desist orders.
However it might be that Tessera is now going to pursue a district court action for back damages that may be relevant to the expired patents. That is assuming that none of the chip companies appeal.
When Tessera filed the complaint in April 2007. Motorola was included in the original suit, but the handset maker signed a licensing agreement last year to settle the litigation.
The company offered similar licensing agreements to all the defendants, and Tessera’s told the Wall Street Journal that those offers still stand. Although the specific patents addressed in the complaint expired this year, the agreements would include an initial payment and then ongoing royalty payments with respect to the patents Tessera holds that have not yet expired.
Sony and Renesas have received summons from Tessera Technologies’ learned fiends, alleging that they breached a patent it owns.
Tessera specialises in minituarisation tech for electronic devices on chip, 3D and wafer level packaging.
The patent in question is 6,885,106 – a different patent to the one under discussion by the US International Trade Commission (ITC). Tessera CEO Henry Nothhaft said that licence agreements it had with Sony and Renesas have expired, but the companies continue make products using the tech.
It’s not the only legal case Tessera is connected with. Yesterday it sued UTAC, a Taiwanese company for breach of contract.
And there is another case waiting for appeal, while Tessera is also pursuing ATI (now AMD), Freescale, and ST Microelectronics.
Then there’s a case over DRAM against Acer, Centon, Elpida, Nanya, Powerchip, ProMOS, Ramaxel, Smart Modular Technologies and TwinMOS.
Then there’s a case against Hynix, which is waiting for a trial date. Then there’s several patent re-examinations in train too.
Does all this sound a little like Rambus?
Miniaturisation tech company company Tessera said it has paid $15 million in cash to buy the Siimpel Corporation.
Siimpel – simple, geddit? – develops and makes micro electro mechanical systems (MEMS) for cameras used in mobile gizmos.
Tessera licences and makes miniatureisation tech through chip scale, 3D and wafer level packaging as well as customised micro-optic lenses right down to integrated sub-assemblies.
Tessera CEO Henry Nothhaft said that Siimpel’s auto focus and shutter products complemented its own EDOF technology. It will use that technology to offer higher megapixel resolutions that offer auto focus.
Siimpel is based in Arcadia with 42 employees and a patent portfolio that numbers 65.