Hynix to fight Toshiba complaint on chip patents

CIOL Bureau
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TOKYO/SEOUL: Hynix Semiconductor Inc., the world's second-largest memory chip maker, said on Tuesday it would fight a complaint by Japan's Toshiba Corp. that claims the South Korean company infringed on patents on flash-memory chips.


"We will cope with (the claim) aggressively, following legal procedures," Hynix said in a public disclosure statement to the Korea Stock Exchange.

Toshiba filed the complaint last Thursday with the U.S. International Trade commission, alleging infringements of three of its patents on NAND-type flash memory chips.

Toshiba is seeking an injunction against imports into the United States of the Hynix products involved.

The move was the latest in a series of patent-related legal actions by Japanese electronic makers, which are relying increasingly on technological expertise to survive global competition.


The complaint follows lawsuits filed by Toshiba against Hynix in U.S. and Japanese courts last November claiming that Hynix violated its patents protecting the circuitry design of its memory chips.

A Toshiba spokeswoman said the company filed the complaint after determining that an acceptable resolution was unlikely.

Toshiba and Hynix signed a patent cross-licensing agreement in August 1996 that included semiconductors. The agreement expired in December 2002.

Panasonic-brand products maker Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. late last year filed for an injunction to halt sales in Japan of LG Electronics Inc.'s plasma panels, saying the panels infringed on Matsushita's patents for heat radiation technology.

In June, Hitachi Ltd., Japan's largest electronics conglomerate, sued three Taiwanese PC monitor makers including Amtran Technology Co. Ltd. in the United States.