SAN FRANCISCO—The U.S. Supreme Court Monday (Nov. 28) refused to disturb a patent infringement ruling by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) which found for Tessera Technologies Inc. over several chipmakers, according to a report by the Dow Jones news service.
The 2009 ITC ruling found that several chipmakers, including Qualcomm Inc., Spansion Inc., STMicroelectronics NV, Freescale Semiconductor Inc., and ATI Technologies infringed chip packaging patents held by Tessera. ATI is now owned by Advanced Micro Devices Inc.
The 2009 ITC ruling—which included a ban against the importation into the U.S. of a broad range of chips using fine-pitch BGA packages—caused an uproar in the semiconductor industry because it affected chips that go into a broad range of products from e-readers to netbooks to cell phones and others.
Companies named in the suit found ways around the ban, which lasted from July 2009 to September 2010, at which point the patents involved expired. Workarounds included contracting for packaging and assembly with vendor Amkor Technology Inc., which has a license for the Tessera technology. Tessera has previously argued that this is not sufficient to protect the companies from paying damages to Tessera.
A U.S. federal appeals court previously upheld the ITC's ruling in December 2010.
Tessera will attempt to prove damages inflicted by the patent infringement in a separate trial pending before the U.S. District Court for Northern California.
A spokeswoman for Spansion described the Supreme Court's rejection of the challenge of the ITC ruling as a "non-event" for Spansion. "The challenge relates to an ITC action filed by Tessera against Spansion and several others in 2007," the spokeswoman said. " In 2009, the ITC ruled in favor of Tessera, and that ruling has been subject to appeal ever since. All of the patents at issue expired in September 2010."
They did demonstrated that by delaying the announcement on the Court's decision didn't they? They showed their hand then that they desire to only announce significant events....as they see them to be. (To protect the shareholders- ha!)
Of course. Also, bonds were posted covering royalties incurred during the initial appeal period, and they are immediately due to Tessera (it may yet take a court order to find out what agency is holding that money, much less the amount).
Tessera asserts that it owns newer patents covering many practical issues of chip scale packaging. We can expect entirely new proceedings against manufacturers who don't get Tessera licenses.
Would be very interesting to know how much dinero is in those kitty's.....with $10.39/shr in cash already sitting in TSRA's coffers.....special div perhaps? They sure could use a bump in the pps, meaning *I* sure would like it higher! Giving me part of that settlement would ease the pain of being in the red with this one for so long, that's for sure.
Also, another PR out today about the court's decision, but I'm not sure if it means TSRA is going to now provide more info or less on these lawsuits - what do you read into this?
"Tessera Technologies, Inc. also announced today an update to its disclosure practices. In addition to complying with SEC and NASDAQ mandated requirements, the Company has historically issued press releases similar to this release with respect to litigation matters as a matter of course. The Company is changing this practice and, in addition to all required disclosure, intends to comment publicly on litigation matters on a more selective basis, taking into account the adequacy of SEC and NASDAQ disclosure requirements to serve the needs of its stockholders. As always, the Company assumes no obligation to update the information it publicly provides."