Majority of semiconductor manufacturing suppliers experience IP challenges

July 24, 2012 — SEMI recently conducted a survey of semiconductor fab equipment and materials suppliers, finding that 60+% of respondents say that intellectual property (IP) challenges have had an adverse impact on their companies.

Also read: Semiconductor IP myths and revenue growth

IP supports a company’s innovation and is fundamental to new technologies and methods. A relatively high percent of revenue is reinvested into R&D to create IP in the semiconductor industry, and IP fuels competitiveness in the supply chain.

On average, semiconductor equipment and materials companies invest 10-15% of their revenues back into R&D each year, with 2011’s R&D investment translating to $9-14 billion. Semiconductor equipment and materials companies have unique challenges associated with their IP, but realizing a return on their R&D investment is still essential.

The SEMI IP survey was sent to a global group of SEMI members and almost half responded. Over 60% of companies reported that IP challenges have translated into an adverse impact on their companies. About 75% of the companies responding had pursued legal action against IP violators. 

In terms of the types of violations experienced, patent infringement and counterfeiting were the recurring themes, with some regions more problematic than others. The survey also asked whether the situation in each region was improving, worsening, or staying the same.

This survey information will be used in SEMI’s efforts on IP protection with governments and partners around the world.

To download the IP White Paper, visit: SEMI is a global industry association serving the nano- and microelectronics manufacturing supply chains. For more information, visit

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