MANHASSET, N.Y. Austin-based mixed-signal semiconductor supplier SigmaTel Inc. has established a European Intellectual Property (IP) protection and licensing strategy.
Similar to SigmaTel's ongoing IP strategy in the United States, the European licensing program will initially focus on protecting and enforcing 19 patents related to power management, multimedia applications and MP3 hardware and software. The European licensing program will encompass current SigmaTel customers, who have an implied license when they purchase SigmaTel products, as well as other MP3 manufactures and MP3 semiconductor developers that may include SigmaTel intellectual property in their product designs.
In implementing a licensing strategy, SigmaTel hopes to ensure that European retailers do not have to remove infringing products from store shelves and hopes to protect suppliers, such as NAND flash suppliers, from not being paid if SigmaTel ultimately has to resort to legal action to stop the sale of unlicensed MP3 players not powered by SigmaTel.
The company intends to attempt in all cases to first employ its licensing strategy, but will not hesitate to resort to legal action if MP3 player or silicon manufacturers or importers decline to participate in SigmaTel's licensing program.