Fri, Jan 06, 2012 - Page 11 News List

ITC to probe patent suit against MediaTek, others

Staff writer, with CNA in Washington and Bloomberg

The US International Trade Commission (ITC) said on Wednesday it has decided to launch an investigation into a patent infringement complaint against Taiwanese IC designer MediaTek Inc (聯發科), as well as various other firms.

US-based chipmaker Freescale Semiconductor Inc filed the complaint early last month with the ITC, accusing MediaTek, Top Victory Electronics (Taiwan) Co (捷聯電子) and AmTran Technology Co (瑞軒科技) of infringing on its technology used in certain ICs, chipsets and other products, such as TVs.

MediaTek yesterday declined to comment on the investigation, but said the case was unlikely to have any immediate material impact on its operations.

Several other companies in Japan and the US were also named in the complaint, which alleges that they violated Section 337 of the US Tariff Act of 1930 on imports into the US market.

The ITC said its chief administrative law judge would assign the case to one of the commission’s six administrative law judges, who will hold an evidentiary hearing and make an initial determination that will be subject to review by the commission.

The commission said that within 45 days of instituting the probe, it would set a target date for completing the investigation.

Quanta Sues AMD

Separately, Quanta Computer Inc (廣達), the world’s largest contract notebook manufacturer, sued Advanced Micro Devices Inc (AMD) for breach of contract, accusing the chipmaker of selling defective products.

AMD and its subsidiary, ATI Technologies Inc, sold chips that did not meet heat tolerance requirements and were unfit for particular purposes, Quanta claimed on Tuesday in a federal court filing in San Jose, California.

The chips were used in notebooks Quanta made for NEC Corp and caused the computers to malfunction, according to the filing.

Quanta is seeking a jury trial and damages, according to court papers. The lawsuit also claims breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation, civil fraud and interference with a contract.

“AMD disputes the allegations in Quanta’s complaint and believes they are without merit,” AMD spokesman Michael Silverman said in an e-mailed message.

“AMD is aware of no other customer reports of the alleged issues with the AMD chip that Quanta used, which AMD no longer sells,” he said. “In fact, Quanta has itself acknowledged to AMD that it used the identical chip in large volumes in a different computer platform that it manufactured for NEC without such issues.”

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