Stepping up the pressure in its takeover battle, Vishay Intertechnology Inc.'s Siliconix subsidiary has filed a patent infringement suit against General Semiconductor Inc.
The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California, alleges that certain General Semiconductor MOSFET products infringe two patents held by Siliconix. Siliconix is seeking damages, as well as preliminary and permanent injunctive relief.
In a released statment, King Owyang, Siliconix president and CEO, said that, "Our proprietary power MOSFET products make up one of the core areas of our business. We have made a substantial investment of time and resources to develop our Trench MOSFET technology and have obtained numerous United States patents to protect that technology.
"We believe that these patents will provide us with a significant competitive edge in this space, and we intend to protect this advantage, as we cannot allow the fruits of our investment to be misappropriated. The purpose of this lawsuit is to put a stop to the infringement of two of these patents. We view this litigation as a step we must take to protect our intellectual property."
Early this week, Vishay issued an open letter to the board of General Semiconductor, urging it to re-consider Vishay's buyout offer, which the board had earlier rejected. The letter also contained an allegation that General Semiconductor was infringing on its patents, and that Vishay would take "all required action" to protect those patents.
General Semiconductor fired back that, "your patent infringement allegation is disruptive and appears self-serving. We find the timing of this non-specific, unsubstantiated allegation and its inclusion in your letter regarding our rejection of your proposal an attempt to be coercive. We are not aware of any patent infringement issue."