Micron hit with Chinese DRAM ban

July 05, 2018 // By Peter Clarke
A Chinese court has banned Micron Technology Inc. from selling 26 types of DRAM and NAND memory in the country, including certain solid-state drives and memory sticks, as part of a ruling in a legal suit on alleged patent infringement brought by Taiwanese foundry United Microelectronics Corp.

The ban is preliminary and could be reversed as the court case is ongoing.

UMC (Hsinchu, Taiwan) brought the case to court in Fuzhou, China, in January 2018 alleging that Micron is infringing UMC patents in three memory applications related to the DDR4 interface standard.

The Fuzhou Intermediate People's Court has issued a preliminary injunction against Micron Semiconductor (Xi'an) Co., Ltd. and Micron Semiconductor (Shanghai) Co., Ltd. enjoining Micron from offering to sell, and selling 26 DRAM and NAND components.

Micron has issued a statement acknowledging the ban saying the ban would apply to certain Crucial and Ballistix-branded DRAM modules and solid state drives. Micron added that the ban would result in about a 1 percent impact on its fourth fiscal quarter sales. Micron said it will comply with the ruling while requesting the Fuzhou court to reconsider or stay its decision. 

Micron also asserted that the Fuzhou legal case was filed "in retaliation" for a civil lawsuit filed by Micron against UMC and Fujian Jinhua Integrated Circuit Co. (Jinhua) in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California for the misappropriation of Micron trade secrets.

"The Fuzhou Court issued this preliminary ruling before allowing Micron an opportunity to present its defense," said Joel Poppen, senior vice president, legal affairs, general counsel and corporate secretary at Micron Technology, in a statement.

In the background to this dispute Chinese authorities have been calling for price cuts for DRAM products from major suppliers Micron, Samsung and SK Hynix while Chinese companies are trying to bring up wafer fabs to allow them to make memories on the Chinese mainland.

Related links and articles:

www.umc.com

www.micron.com

News articles:

UMC sues Micron in China

UMC to pay big price for Fujitsu foundry

China calls for DRAM price drop for second time

Micron, Samsung, SK-Hynix pursued over DRAM pricing


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