Todd R. Miller, EE Times(09/12/2007 12:09 PM EDT)
Many executives and engineers, who know and understand the ever-changing patent landscape of the semiconductor industry, are in a unique position. They sit atop it all, able to see their company in relation to others, aware of what everybody is doing and where best to go to protect and enhance the value of their company.
Patent litigation in the semiconductor world, over the last ten years, has been rampant. It takes a detailed scorecard to determine how many suits have been brought about and who all has sued or been sued.
In the United States, almost 900 patent lawsuits involving the semiconductor industry have been filed in Federal District Courts since 1997. Indeed, there have been more suits filed halfway through 2007 (53 suits in all) than were filed in all of 1997. In the last ten years, suits have more than doubled.
As one would think, many different companies have been involved in all these suits. Nevertheless, there are some regulars: Intel (involved some 6.5 percent of the time); Broadcom Corp. (3.6 percent); Texas Instruments Inc. (3.4 percent); Samsung Semiconductor Inc. (2.5 percent); LSI Corp. (2.3 percent); and International Rectifier Corp. (2.2 percent). Rounding out the cast are Applied Materials Inc., Micron Technology Inc., STMicroelectronics, and Atmel Corp. each of which have been involved in roughly 2 percent of these suits.
Click here to read more ...