WASHINGTON -- Macronix International Co. Ltd. of Taiwan and its U.S. subsidiary today announced a legal victory before the U.S. International Trade Commission, which ruled for the second time that the company's chip products did not infringe upon Atmel Corp.'s "silicon signature" patent.
Atmel last year won a lengthy legal fight and injunctions against Silicon Storage Technologies Inc., Winbond Electronics Corp., and Sanyo Electric Co. Ltd., which were accused of infringing upon the company's patents in nonvolatile memories and flash-based microcontrollers. The ITC barred importation of ICs and system products using devices that infringed upon Atmel's patent in that case.
But the ITC also excluded Macronix products from the injunction because the commission found that those ICs did not infringe upon Atmel's U.S. patent No. 4,451,903.
Atmel appealed the ITC ruling, and a U.S. appellate court sent the case back to the commission for review again (see Feb. 2 story).
In a June 1 order, the ITC dismissed its investigation after concluding that Atmel's patent was not being violated, said Macronix today. An immediate response from Atmel in San Jose was not available.