AMS wins $77 million from Intersil

May 04, 2016 // By Peter Clarke
A Texas Judge has ordered power management and analog iC company Intersil Corp. (Milpitas, Calif.) to pay Austria's AMS $77 million in damages, including $10 million in exemplary damages.

The case was originally filed in November 2008 as Texas Advanced Optoelectronic Solutions Inc. v. Intersil Corp., No. 4:08-cv-00451. AMS acquired TAOS in 2011.

The decision comes after a four-week trial in which the jury found in favor of AMS/TAOS on all claims against Intersil, including misappropriation of trade secrets; breach of a non-disclosure agreement; interference with AMS' prospective business relations; and wilful infringement of US Patent No. 6,596,981.

TAOS patented a dual-photodiode technology in 2002 that could be use to allow flat panel displays to adjust their brightness based on surrounding ambient light levels. In 2004 the parties shared certain formation under non-disclosure agreements during discussions about the potential acquisition of TAOS by Intersil.  This did not take place but within a year of the talks ending Intersil introduced a competing light sensor and used confidential pricing information to undercut TAOS and gain design wins in the second generation iPhone 3G and iPod Touch.

The latest ruling, handed down by Judge Richard A. Schell of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, comes after Intersil attempted to overturn an original decision rendered in March 2015 (see Intersil fined for TAOS patent infringement ).

But the ruling is still not the final word.  The final judgement, which will be entered on a later date can, however, be appealed. ams AG is therefore not able to estimate a time frame for conclusion of the case or recovery of damages awarded. 

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