Spansion Expands IP Lawsuit Against Samsung
Spansion Inc., a leading provider of Flash memory solutions, today announced the filing of an additional three separate patent infringement complaints against Samsung to further address past and ongoing widespread patent violations in a broad and growing range of Samsung Flash memory products. Spansion filed the complaints with the International Trade Commission (ITC) and in the U.S. District Courts in the Eastern District of Virginia and (an ITC mirror case) in the Northern District of California. The company first initiated action against Samsung in November, 2008, with the ITC and the U.S. District Court in Delaware. The judge in the first ITC case has set a target date of mid September to issue his initial determination.
Spansion's ITC complaints seek to exclude and enjoin from the U.S. market infringing Samsung Flash memory products and downstream products that contain them. Flash memory is a critical part of billions of dollars worth of consumer electronics such as MP3 players, cell phones, digital cameras, and tablet computers. Over the years, Samsung's infringement has and continues to unjustly enrich Samsung by many hundreds of millions of dollars. The District Court actions also seek compensation for Samsung's unjust enrichment in disregard of Spansion's extensive patent holdings.
"It is now more important than ever that we protect our IP. Our customers, partners, licensees and employees have put significant investment in our technology," said John Kispert, president and CEO of Spansion. "By defending our IP, we can protect our stakeholders' interests and continue the ongoing innovation required to address specific customer and market requirements."
Spansion is one of only two U.S.-based memory companies with wafer manufacturing onshore. The company's $2 billion investment in research and development continues to enable innovation in digital electronics. Spansion holds more than 3,000 patents and patent applications. The patents in the suits represent only a small portion of Spansion's IP portfolio. Spansion uses its IP to provide Flash memory products to its more than 4,500 customers. Spansion has recently expanded the number of IP licensees. Its IP covers a variety of inventions related to floating gate technology, which represents 90% of the entire Flash memory market.
While Samsung is the subject of these litigations, current ITC procedures dictate that Spansion name manufacturers of downstream products containing Samsung infringing devices in its ITC complaint. Companies named in the ITC cases include: Apple, BenQ, Kingston, MiTAC, Nokia, PNY Technologies, Qisda Corp., RIM, Sirius XM Radio and Transcend, and some of their subsidiaries and third party manufacturing companies.