ITC Determines Atmel Patent Infringed

San Jose, California–Oct. 18, 2000–A final determination was issued by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) on Oct. 16 regarding investigation of Atmel Corp.’s complaint in 1997 that several of its patents–covering certain erasable programmable read only memory (EPROM), electrically erasable programmable read only memory (EEPROM), flash memory, flash microcontroller semiconductor devices, and products containing these devices–were being infringed.

The ITC determination concludes that Silicon Storage Technologies, Inc., Sanyo Electric Co., Ltd., Winbond Electronics Corp., Winbond Electronics North America Corp., have infringed Atmel’s U.S. Patent No. 4,451,903 under Section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930, but not infringed Atmel’s U.S. Patent No.’s 4,511,811 or 4,673,829. As a result, the ITC has issued a limited exclusion order prohibiting importation into the U.S. of EPROMS, EEPROMS, flash memories, and flash semiconductor devices, and circuit boards containing such devices that infringe on Atmel’s Patent No. 4,451,903.

This determination reverses earlier initial final determinations, made in 1998, by the presiding Administrative Law Judge that the companies named in Atmel’s lawsuit had not violated Section 337.

“Obviously we are extremely pleased with the ITC’s determination regarding our ‘903 patent. This is the result we have been seeking from the ITC for nearly 4 years. Not only does the decision confirm Atmel’s unwavering belief that its’ patent was violated by these companies, but it also reaffirms the strength and value of our patent portfolio,” says Atmel’s President and CEO George Perlegos. “This is a successful day for Atmel. We have fought, and will continue to fight, hard to protect our proprietary technology and intellectual property rights against those who choose to violate them.”

President and CEO of Silicon Storage Technologies Bing Ye commented, “I am pleased that the Commission upheld the decision of the Administrative Law Judge and held that there was no infringement of the ‘811 and ‘829 patents. I am disappointed with the finding concerning the ‘903 patent. I believe the Administrative Law Judge made the correct decision as to the ‘903, and we fully intend to appeal the Commission’s decision. If upheld by the President, and not stayed or reversed on appeal, Silicon Storage Technologies believes that the Commission’s decision will have an immaterial effect on its operations.”

Winbond and Sanyo have not yet commented on the ITC determination.


Easily post a comment below using your Linkedin, Twitter, Google or Facebook account. Comments won't automatically be posted to your social media accounts unless you select to share.