All Things Patent Blog

Tech Giants Including Samsung Sued by KAIST Over Infringement of FinFET Technology

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Samsung Electronics, Qualcomm and Global Foundries are being sued in the Federal Court of Texas by the US-based Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) for usage of their FinFet technologies without any permit.

Qualcomm had recently announced that its Snapdragon 835 processor will be produced using Samsung’s advanced 10nm FinFET technology. Both the companies made an announcement by conducting an event and giving out press releases.

The incident happened when Samsung invited FinFet developer and one of the partners of KAIST, Lee Jong-ho, to show Samsung engineers how the FinFET process works.

KAIST IP said, “Samsung Electronics could save time and costs to develop the technologies by duplicating Lee’s invention without paying royalties. It continued to expropriate Lee’s achievements without consideration of his rights or proper compensation.

Samsung is known to use the FinFet technology on most of its phone models including the Galaxy series. “We proposed a contract when we developed FinFet but Samsung did not accept it. Though it started to make mobile phones using FinFet it resisted paying patent fees,” said KAIST IP. Due to this lawsuit, there might also be a delay in the launch of Samsung’s Galaxy S8 phone.

Additionally, in 2014 Global Foundries also collaborated with Samsung to manufacture semiconductor chips based on FinFET. Thus, KAIST has also named Global Foundries in the lawsuit for infringing its technology.

The FinFET technology is already lawfully used by many companies including Intel Corporation. In 2011 Intel applied the FinFet technology to its products and in 2012 acknowledged its use of the  technology  and signed an official license contract with KAIST.

Based on data analyses from MaxVal’s Litigation Databank, we see that the judgements awarded in past by the Judge Rodney Gilstrap favours both the plaintiff and the defendants, depending upon the nature of suit and allegations.

Facts about EDTX Judge Rodney Gilstrap since 2010:

No. of cases handled 4,703
No. of cases given judgment based on merits 31
No. of cases in which plaintiffs won 15
No. of cases in which defendants won 16

Case details:

Type

Names

Case Number 2:16-cv-01314
Court Texas Eastern District Court
Filed date 11/29/2016
Judge/Magistrate Judge Rodney Gilstrap/Roy S. Payne
Plaintiff KAIST IP US LLC
Plaintiff Attorney Elizabeth L DeRieux
Plaintiff Law Firm Capshaw DeRieux LLP
Defendants Samsung Electronics Co., LTD.| Samsung Electronics America, Inc.| Samsung Semiconductor, Inc.| Samsung Austin Semiconductor, LLC| GlobalFoundries, Inc.| GlobalFoundries U.S. Inc.| Qualcomm Inc.
Product Samsung FinFET Technology, Chips, and Products; GloFo Chips; and Qualcomm Chips – Processor chips (Semiconductor devices, processor chips incorporating such semiconductor devices, and/or consumer products incorporating such processor chips, 14 nm bulk FinFET technologies, Exynos series of chips, e.g., Exynos 7 Octa 7420, Exynos 7 Quad 7570, Exynos 7 Octa 7870, Exynos 8 Octa 8890, and Exynos 8895, and Defendant Qualcomm’s Snapdragon series of chips, e.g., 820 and 821 chips, Galaxy line of mobile devices, e.g., Galaxy S6, Galaxy S6 Edge, Galaxy S6 Active, Galaxy S6 Edge+, Galaxy Note 5, Galaxy Tab A 10.1, Galaxy J7, Galaxy S7, and Galaxy S7 Edge)
Patent US6885055

For more details on this case, click here.

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