| TOKYO Matsushita has filed a lawsuit against MediaTek Inc. in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California claiming the Taiwanese company's chips for DVD products infringe three of its patents. |
Matsushita has been negotiating with MediaTek about licensing the technologies for over a year. But MediaTek has so far not agreed on license terms, forcing Matsushita's hand, a company spokesman said. MediaTek became the top supplier of IC chips for DVD players in 2003, outstripping Matsushita on a value basis, according to market researcher iSuppli. Matsushita had been the top supplier of DVD player chips until 2002, according to iSuppli. The company still has the largest share in DVD recorders, and remains strong in DVD-related products.
Two other companies, OPPO Digital Inc. and Micro-Star International Co., Ltd., are also included in Matsushita's patent lawsuit. They both use MediaTek's ICs in their products.
The three patented technologies involved in the dispute boost performance in chips used in DVD products, Matsushita claimed. The U.S. patents are: No. 5970238, a "method and apparatus for generating planarizing pattern and semiconductor integrated circuit device;" No. 5548249, a "clock generator and method for generating a clock;" and No. 6728475, a "digital motion picture decoding apparatus and digital motion picture decoding method."
Matsushita is claiming it was harmed by MediaTek's alleged illegal use of its patents and is seeking disciplinary reparation for intentional patent infringement. It is also seeking to block sales of MediaTek's DVD chips and products in the U.S.