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Licensing News

Macronix Patent Infringement

August 28, 2014 Update:  See SVP of Sales Tom Sparkman's letter to our customers regarding Spansion's dispute with Macronix.

Macronix is distorting what is really happening with these cases. In its second ITC action against Spansion, Macronix named Allied Telesis (amongst many others) as a downstream respondent. The reality is Allied Telesis imports low volumes of Spansion products into the US – negligible amounts. Based on these very low volumes, Allied Telesis made the business decision to no longer import Spansion products and, as a result, they are no longer part of the second ITC action. Allied Telesis has not agreed to stop purchasing Spansion products. The fact that Allied Telesis agreed to no longer import Spansion products simply means that they are no longer involved in this case; it does not have any bearing on the merits of the case or the supposed strength of Macronix’s patents. In fact, Allied Telesis made clear that its decision to stop importing Spansion chips was not an admission of infringement but, instead, was a decision made “for settlement purposes only.” They simply wanted out of the case.

April 29, 2014 Update: Spansion filed two additional patent infringement complaints against Macronix to address past and ongoing widespread violations of Spansion’s patents in a broad and growing range of Macronix NOR Flash and XtraROM memory products. The new complaints assert four new patents and have been filed with the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) and the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.

March 14, 2014 Update:  “In a lengthy and exasperated opinion, U.S. District Judge Robert E. Payne argued that patent infringement complaints should be subject to the pleading standard outlined in the U.S. Supreme Court’s Twombly and Iqbal decisions, and scolded Taiwan-based semiconductor company Macronix for taking a “blunderbluss approach” to pleading its claims.”  The article went on to say, “In Monday's stinging opinion, Judge Payne said that it was “high time” that attorneys in patent cases do significant background work before filing a complaint, rather than paring down a suit's claims during litigation.”  The full text of the article can be found on the Law360 website.  EETimes is also reporting on the latest developments in the article, "Spansion Scores Win Against Macronix in Patent Spat."

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On August 1, 2013, Spansion filed suits against Macronix in the International Trade Commission (ITC) and the District Court of Northern California.  We believe Macronix is using our intellectual property (IP) and devaluing the time, effort and money we have invested in the creation of our flash IP.  Six patents were asserted, five of which have been tested in our successful settlement with Samsung.  Macronix has since countersued with three patents, which have never been litigation tested.  We believe these are tactical reactions to our case, initiated to deflect the threat posed by our ITC action.
A chronological, fact-based history of Spansion's lawsuit and licensing activity can be read below.  We will continue to update this section as our case develops.

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