A Los Angeles Federal District Court Judge has denied a motion by Texas Instruments Inc. seeking to block a U.S. International Trade Commission investigation into alleged patent violations (see May 2 story).
The investigation was launched last week, following a complaint filed by Tessera Inc., San Jose, charging TI with infringing patents protecting micro-BGA chip-scale packaging technology (see April 28 story ). Tessera has also named Sharp Corp. as a defendant in the suit and is asking the ITC to bar the companies from importing semiconductors using the proprietary packaging technology into the United States.
Federal District Court Judge David Carter rejected TI's argument that the investigation should be blocked for insufficient cause on the grounds that such a ruling would interfere with the ITC's charter to examine international trade practices. In his ruling, Carte r said "[I]f this court were to issue an injunction, the court would be interfering with the ITC's statutory mandate to investigate complaints brought under 19 U.S.C. 1337."
Tessera's vice president and general counsel, Chris Pickett, said the company was "pleased" with the decision. "The ITC's administrative investigation into the merits of Tessera's case against TI will now proceed unencumbered," he said.
Both TI and Sharp have until May 17 to respond to Tessera's ITC complaint. A separate micro-BGA patent-infringement charge against Sharp and TI has been filed by Tessera in San Jose Federal District Court. The Tessera patents at issue are U.S. Patent numbers 5,679,977 and 5,852,326.