Samsung, TSMC, Qualcomm come under US investigation

Business news |
By Peter Clarke

Samsung, TSMC and Qualcomm are to be investigated by the US International Trade Commission (USITC) following allegations of patent infringement.

The complainant is Daedalus Prime LLC of New York, a non-practising entity (NPE) that acquired the rights to some former Intel patents in June 2022.

Daedalus Prime is alleging violations of section 337 of the Tariff Act of 1930 and has asked for the imports to be banned and for “cease and desist orders” to be issued. In the latest flurry of activity Daedalus Prime is claiming it has patents that are being infringed within ICs made by Samsung on 14nm and smaller process nodes and by TSMC on 16nm and smaller process nodes. It is also looking for the prohibition on the import of certain “smartphones, tablets, and smartwatches containing the same and components of such semiconductor devices and mobile devices.”

This comes after Daedalus Prime sued Mercedes-Benz and NXP Semiconductors and a host of distributors over ICs and components that Daedalus alleges infringe patents on automotive voltage controls. Respondents in that investigation also included: Avnet, Digi-Key, Mouser and Newark.

Although sales into the US can be prohibited by an ITC finding, most cases do not reach that point. The primacy of patents is often contested over a long periods, in multiple courts before the parties eventually reach an out of court agreement.

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