Court orders Silicon Storage to pay Atmel $36.5M

Atmel Corp., San Jose, CA, announced that US District Court Judge Samuel Conti reviewed an earlier jury award to Atmel, and has ordered Silicon Storage Technology Inc., Sunnyvale, CA, to pay Atmel an additional $16.5 million, for a total award of $36.5 million for patent infringement.

On April 26, a jury found that Atmel’s U.S. Patent Nos. 4,511,811 and 4,673,829 (covering charge pumps for raising the voltage on a conductive line) were valid and willfully infringed by SST. The award enhancement was for willful infringement, and pre-judgment interest, bringing the total award to $36.5M.

SST didn’t comment immediately on the enhancement in damages.

Atmel’s Chief Litigation and Intellectual Property Counsel, Julie Mar-Spinola, stated, “This enhancement reinforces the position we took years ago, that these patents should have been licensed by SST, as we originally proposed.”

Ms. Mar-Spinola added, “There remains one additional Atmel patent, US Patent No. 4,451,903 (“Silicon Signature”) to be tried against SST. Originally, all three patents were to be tried to the same jury; however, due to time constraints, the one remaining patent will be tried separately in the near future. The court has already determined that SST infringed that patent, and the trial to come will involve only the validity of that patent and damages.”

On April 29, SST announced it would appeal the District Court’s decision.

“I am extremely disappointed with the decision in the District Court case,” said SST President and CEO Bing Yeh said at the time. “SST believes that it did not infringe these patents, and the International Trade Commission (“ITC”) had previously ruled in SST’s favor on the same patents. We believe that the Trial Court committed numerous errors and that the damages assessed by the court are exorbitant. We plan to immediately appeal the decision.”


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