United Microelectronics Corp (UMC, 聯電), the world’s No. 3 contract chipmaker, on Friday said it has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Micron Technology Inc’s subsidiaries in China, seeking 270 million yuan (US$41.85 million) in damages.
The lawsuit is the latest in a series of spats related to intellectual property rights between the two companies over the past year.
In September last year, three UMC employees were indicted for alleged theft and use of trade secrets from Micron’s Taiwanese units. They used to work for Micron.
Hsinchu-based UMC said in a statement that Micron has infringed upon its patent rights in China, including specific memory applications that relate to DRAM DDR4, solid state drives and memory used in graphics cards.
In a complaint submitted to the Fuzhou Intermediate People’s Court of the People’s Republic of China, UMC has requested the court to order Micron’s Chinese subsidiaries — Micron Semiconductor (Xi’an) Co Ltd (美光半導體西安) and Micron Semiconductor (Shanghai) Co Ltd (美光半導體銷售上海) — to stop manufacturing, processing, importing, selling and intending to sell the allegedly infringing products.
UMC has also asked the court to order the defendants to destroy all inventory and related molds and tools, according to the complaint.
The Boise, Idaho-based Micron has intended to make a matter between itself and its former employees into an issue between the two companies, and has taken legal action against UMC in the US, UMC said in a filing with the Taiwan Stock Exchange on Friday.
UMC said it has conducted an in-depth review and found that Micron’s products sold in China infringed upon its patent rights.
It has pursued the patent infringement litigation in China to obtain fair judgment and safeguard shareholders’ interests, the company said.
It has applied for patents in various countries while continuing to monitor these patents as market conditions evolve, it added.
UMC shares on Friday closed 1.43 percent higher at NT$14.2 on the Taiwan Stock Exchange. The company’s US depositary receipts rose 0.63 percent to US$2.4 on the NASDAQ Composite.
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