SAN FRANCISCO—NVE Corp., a developer of spintronics technology that licenses spintronic magnetoresistive random access memory (MRAM) technology, said Tuesday (Jan. 3) it filed a lawsuit in U.S. federal court alleging patent infringement by MRAM supplier Everspin Technologies Inc.
The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota, alleges infringement by Everspin (Chandler, Ariz.) of three MRAM patents held by NVE (Eden Prairie, Minn.), NVE said. The lawsuit seeks an injunction forcing Everspin to cease using the technology and unspecified monetary damages caused by the alleged infringement, according to the firm.
"We have invested significant resources in research and development over the years, and we are defending our rights to protect these investments," said NVE President and CEO Daniel Baker, in a statement.
"Everspin believes that the patent infringement lawsuit filed by NVE involving MRAM has no merit and intends to defend itself vigorously,” said Phill LoPresti, Everspin's president and CEO, in response to a request for comment on the lawsuit. LoPresti said Everspin is a
pioneer in MRAM technology with an intellectual property portfolio of
more than 600 patents and applications worldwide.
NVE commercializes spintronics, a nanotechnology that relies on electron spin rather than electron charge to acquire, store and transmit information. The company manufactures high-performance spintronic products including sensors and couplers that are used to acquire and transmit data and has also licensed spintronic MRAM technology.
MRAM, a non-volatile memory technology that has been underdevelopment since the 1990s, is generally considered a niche technology, though proponents believe it will eventually gain much wider acceptance.
Motorola Semiconductor was researching MRAM at least a decade ago and was granted a large number of patents in the early years. Then MOT spun off it semi business, creating Freescale, which later spun off it's MRAM operations, creating Everspin.
We can only guess which patents or area of MRAM technology this lawsuit is all about, but it is interesting that NVE is going after one of the early pioneers of MRAM technology. One has to wonder, why now?
Join our online Radio Show on Friday 11th July starting at 2:00pm Eastern, when EETimes editor of all things fun and interesting, Max Maxfield, and embedded systems expert, Jack Ganssle, will debate as to just what is, and is not, and embedded system.