TOKYO International Rectifier Corp. has filed a lawsuit in district court here claiming the establishment of Renesas Technology Corp. is invalid because the procedure used by partners Hitachi, Ltd. and Mitsubishi Electric Corp. to form Renesas violated Japanese commerical law.
The lawsuit brought against Hitachi, Mitsubishi Electric and Renesas in early September originated in an intellectual property dispute between International Rectifier (El Segundo, Calif.) and Hitachi over power semiconductor technology. International Rectifier claims it was damaged by the arrangement used to form Renesas because it was a Hitachi creditor.
Japanese commercial law requires that companies initiating corporate splits to gain the approval of creditors. International Rectifier alleges that Hitachi neglected to inform it of the transaction.
International Rectifier initially accused Hitachi in a federal court in Los Angeles. In January 2002, it accused Hitachi of infringing its intellectual property related to power MOS semiconductor technology.
Hitachi countersued in California and Tokyo district court in April 2002.
The IP dispute has not been settled, but U.S. court provisionally banned the sales of Hitachi's power semiconductors in the United States, provding International Rectifier with grounds to file her for damages. The company's spokesman here declined to comment.
Hitachi issued the following statement: "All the procedure concerning to the corporate split was taken legitimately and properly. Hitachi does not believe that the split was invalid."
Industry watchers said International Rectifier's lawsuit is designed primarily to settle the IP dispute with Hitachi rather than to challenge the legal foundation for the creation of Renesas.